There’s a first time for everything

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One of our members, Firoza, tells us what she thought about one of our outings a few weeks back....

On the 16th of September 2016, I joined a group of members to visit The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead to have a go at Skiing. To be honest, when I was invited to go I really wasn’t sure if it was for me, I’ve never ever skied before and the thought of doing this scared me, thinking about my balance issues and impairment. But I was reassured all will be fine and I would get a lot of support and other members who had gone before loved it.  So I thought there’s a first time for everything and so why not give it a go!

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It was like going on a school trip with your friends we had a mini bus hired, packed lunch and people were looking forward to the day out.

When we arrived, I was impressed by the size of the place. We were split into two groups one would go first and the other second. I decided to go with the second group, that way I could watch the others first and psych myself up! We had a good view watching everyone else from the restaurant above and again was really impressed by what I saw.

By the time it was our turn, I was ready for it. A new experience. We put on all the gear that was needed, the boots felt really unusual and so strange on my feet, but I guess that is something you would get used to. Skis were clicked on, and off we went.

We had a great instructor, who specifically helps people with disabilities. He gave us tips on how to walk with skis on the snow and go up the hill. Going up the hill was pretty scary for me, but at least I was supported by two volunteers either side of me, which was much appreciated! My first attempt at going up a bit of the hill involved being sat on a manual pulley - a rubber disc/seat attached to a pole. I was pulled up using this with my skis and then, going for the descent, knees bent, I was told to hold on to them: “hold onto your knees, keep holding them and don’t let go”.  So I start going down, with the two volunteers locked under my arms on each side, and what’s the first thing I do? I let go of my knees (whoops!) and wobble backwards, but luckily don’t fall, phew! I guess the fear makes you think about wanting to keep your arms out for balance. For me this was terrifying but after having another go, and remembering the instructions, it got a bit easier and was enjoyable. I did a couple of other stages and felt a sense of achievement and had fun. But I knew that was it for now, it does get to your knees when you are not used to the positioning and when you’re tiring out.

All in all a great day and a brilliant experience! I had so much fun, with a great group of people. Thanks Headway for organising the trip and to Northern Trust for volunteering. I can now say I’ve skied and I never thought I would before! 

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