🙌 Student HIGHLIGHT 🙌
We think our students are a BIG deal and we couldn’t do what we do without them! We want to acknowledge and celebrate their achievements and impact on our organization, so each week, we hope to highlight a student for you to get to know.
This week, meet our student, Amanda! The first time Amanda came to NEDS was with the Can Do MS organization three years ago. They offered a one-day scholarship to try adaptive skiing. She shared, “I was so excited about my first lesson with NEDS because I used to be a skier before I became disabled. Of course, I was tethered for that lesson. It was very exciting to be taken to the top of the mountain and ski down with an instructor. I cried the whole day because I was so happy to be on a mountain again. I never thought that I would be. My commitment to learning was made on that day.”
Amanda has so many favorite moments from skiing with NEDS, but the best thing is being able to ski together with her family. The second-best thing is all of the wonderful friends that she has made through NEDS. Amanda shared that having freedom of movement through skiing is wonderful. To any new students or those wondering about getting involved with NEDS, she wants you to know, “Adaptive sports will change your life. It takes away the feeling of being disabled and allows for a feeling of freedom. Don’t give up and have fun.”
Amanda has been keeping active during the pandemic by swimming, using a recumbent stepper machine, stretching, and gardening. She is ready to get back on the mountain this winter!
This week’s highlight student is Ethan! Ethan joined NEDS just last season for skiing at Loon Mountain! His first lesson at NEDS was both awesome and exhausting… and called for a 2 hour nap on his Mom’s lap in the lodge afterwards. Ethan’s time at NEDS has been filled with so many favorite moments from riding the chair lift, to skiing fast down the hill, to watching his instructors popcorn jump. Ethan’s words of advice to new students are simply, “Show up!”
During the pandemic, Ethan has been practicing his other favorite sport, biking! He has learned how to ride a two wheeled bike with pedals and no training wheels. He has also been busy learning how to scooter and jump on the trampoline with no hands – part of his off-season training for skiing in the winter!
Meet Beth! Beth has been skiing since she was three years old. Despite her life-threatening motorcycle accident, she knew that she could not give up skiing. After watching a sit-ski video, she was determined to get back on the mountain. Beth remembers her first lesson very well. She was nervous, but just as excited to learn how to ski down the mountain in a sit-ski. Her nerves disappeared as soon as she got on the snow and she skied for three days in a row. Beth wants to give a shout out to Wendy, who is a sit-skier herself. Beth says, “learning and watching her sealed the deal…during that lesson I transitioned from the ‘bunny’ slope to the chairlift. My goggles truly had a tough time with the tears of joy on the ride up. It was truly freeing…”
When asked for one piece of advice for new students, Beth stated, “trust your instructors and have a good time.”
During quarantine Beth has been staying active walking in her neighborhood and working out with Adaptively Able Fitness. Beth walks with cuff crutches and has been increasing her distance gradually. She reached a new milestone during quarantine, walking a distance of one mile! She is working towards her goal of walking in the Amputee 5K in Boston next year.
Beth encourages everyone to “find your passion, then find the place and the people to make it happen for you.” Her injuries have not stopped her from doing anything she wants to accomplish and with the help from NEDS, she has mastered skiing again.