As a kid who skied on rope tows at Snoqualmie Pass for my first few years of skiing I remember thinking “Wow, someday, if I can get good enough at this, I hope that I’ll be able to move up to the slopes that use the chairlifts.” Well, thankfully with practice and some instruction in junior high, I made that goal.

The idea of skiing at a big resort was not really something that I thought would ever do (though some years later I did). I can tell you that even into adulthood, I didn’t dream of skiing out of the country – that just seemed out of reach for me. My friend however, that I used to ski with when I was younger, dreamt of skiing out of the country and did exactly that! Although she did have to purchase a fake ID due to her age, she went to the slopes and was out of the country for a few days. She loved it though and said she wouldn’t have changed a thing about the trip. Me on the other hand, I wasn’t so keen on the idea…

Well last year, however, I had the ski trip of a life time in that I got to go ski in Austria with my son Dan. We stayed at a friend’s home in Austria and then had a great time together as we were also able to help instruct injured veterans (and their family members) from a UK-based charity, Blesma, The Limbless Veterans. It was amazing!

Well this year I’m extra fortunate because I’ve been invited back (my son’s back in college so he unfortunately can’t join us) on another European ski trip with Blesma – this time to France.

I first became aware of Blesma seven years ago after teaching veterans from Blesma at the DSUSA Ski Spectacular. I’ve been brushing up on my high school French – and I hope that my enthusiasm and smile will make up for any language barrier that I may have with the locals.

I’m very much looking forward to this trip because I’ll again get to personally share the experience of teaching adaptive skiing, something that I know is appreciated by hundreds of Outdoors for All volunteers as well.

It’s a good gig in life when you get to help others – here’s to that!