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Spring 2006 Table of Contents
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My Exciting Ski Trip or Cute Boys in Colorado

by Tish Monroe, Student, TSBVI

Abstract: A 22-year-old young woman who is blind shares her recent adventures skiing in Colorado.

Key words: family, blind, visually impaired, recreation, social skills, snow skiing, personal experience

Tish, wearing ski suit, helmet and gogglesMy name is Tish Monroe. On February 1st, 2006, I went on a ski trip to the Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte, Colorado, with Coach Paschall and Brandon from TSBVI. I'd never been out of Texas before this trip. It was exciting. It's a lot different there.

To get ready, I bought a hat and ski boots in Austin. At home, my mom and I bought a jacket, long johns and some thermal underwear shirts. I wore the long johns under my ski pants, which I borrowed from my technology teacher. I borrowed some other things from my job coach and from Coach Paschall.

I flew from Austin to Gunnison, Colorado. It was my first time in an airplane. I had to go through a security check. On the airplane they told us all the rules, about what we could and couldn't use, about turning off our cell phones after we left the gate, and keeping them off until we landed. I chewed gum so my ears wouldn't pop. My stomach felt kind of weird when we took off in the air, and when we went through some unexpected turbulence.

Tish skiing down the mountain.I'd never seen snow before. It was awesome. It was cold. It was a lot colder than I thought. Even with gloves on, my fingers got real numb playing in the snow. We went to a restaurant and there was snow on the streets. We walked down the road and there were huge piles of snow. I mean huge. They'd plow a little bit, then in the morning there would be fresh snow. The piles were huge.

My favorite part of the trip was meeting new people. When we got there I met some cute boys. A lady named Julie was my roommate. She's a really nice person. I'm very lucky to have her as a friend. She was my sighted guide around the town and the motel, and going up and down the elevator. Julie uses a wheelchair and has a service dog. It goes and gets things for her and helps her in and out of her wheelchair. She's going to send me some pictures by e-mail. I plan to keep in touch with her.

Former President Jimmy Carter, Julie, and Tish, Julie.I also met President Jimmy Carter on my trip. He was really nice. I shook his hand, talked to him very briefly, and took a picture with him. Everybody at home was excited when I called and told them. They all wanted to fly up and meet him.

My ski instructor was pretty awesome too. Her name is Lisa. She's cool. We went skiing down the trails together. I was scared at first. We were pulled up the mountain on a lift. It was like a chair that I sat in as it went up the mountain. When it stopped, we got off and skied down the trail. Lisa guided me from behind with long ropes tied to tethers that were attached to me and to my skis. To slow down and keep from falling, I learned to turn in the toes of my skis and kind of lean in to make a "wedge."

Lisa and Tish on the slopes.If you ever have the chance to go skiing in Colorado, you absolutely should do it. You might be a little bit scared at first. I was, especially when I skied alone with the tethers off. I was so scared that I fell the first time. I fell a few times, and even went off the trail once. I was sore afterward. The two biggest paths we skied down were called Painter Boy and Red Lady. I liked it a lot.

Skiing was a lot of fun. It felt like I was rolling on wheels. Being able to go somewhere different, somewhere I've never been before, and have new experiences, gave me confidence in myself for the future. I want to go back to Colorado again, one more time. I want to play in the snow just one more time. Then I want to go to Port Aransas.

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