Adaptive Water Ski Clinic

Saturday was such an amazingly rewarding (and fun experience).  The fact that it was a requirement for me to participate in something like this is hard for me to believe.

Because we had to be at the site at 7:30 (an hour away from my house), I had a ridiculously early Saturday wake up call at 5:30.  I got in 3 miles easy to get my legs moving after my distance run the day before.  I thought I would at least be rewarded with cooler temperatures since the sun wasn’t even up yet but it was sooooo humid!!

After finishing my run, I rinsed off, got ready, prepped some overnight oats to eat in the car and made some coffee to slowly sip myself awake.

As soon as we got there, everyone sprung in the action and we went from nothing to a full camp set up in about 30 minutes.  It was fairly incredible how fast it came together, but there were about 40 people there helping out so I guess it made sense.

Once set up was complete, we were split into groups for the day: water safety team, and 3 sets of patient teams.  Due to my involvement with the beach patrol I was put on the water safety team which in retrospect I was so happy about.  The other teams were responsible for one specific person at a time: fitting them in a sit-ski, getting them in and out of the water and then getting them out to the area where they could get picked up by the boat.  My team road on jet skis behind the boats jumping off when the skiers fell, getting them back in the ski, getting the rope right again and starting them up again.  Then we jumped back on the jet ski and repeated.  It was awesome!!

What was even greater for me was the guy that drove the jet ski I was riding all day is an amputee.  We had met him before in class last fall but it was awesome to hang with him all day and get to know him more.  And guess what, he isn’t the least bit different than me.  We talked all day about training for races and he was trying to talk me in to starting triathlons.  At the end of the day he found “sport mode” on the jet-ski and tried to scare me to death topping 60 mph easily and then whipping around in a bunch of donuts.  This post was actually inspired by him when we met him in class.

The ski was a pretty simple (but expensive) set up.  The person sat in the bucket part that was attached to a single ski.  If they were new, we attached outriggers to the side to give them more stability to help they get the hang of it.  We also could add a chair back if someone had a more involved injury.  It was so incredible to me that we were able to offer this opportunity to anyone, no matter how involved they were.

Also, special shout out to Velocity Power Sports who allowed us to borrow two of their brand new jet skis so that we were able to be as safe as possible.

Getting in the Cold

Getting in the Cold

Water Safety Training

Water Safety Training

Getting to pick up location!

Getting to pick up location!

2013-06-08 10.39.25

Down time

Down time

Sit-Ski

Sit-Ski

Getting ready for jet-ski ride!

Getting ready for jet-ski ride!

Water Safety Team

Water Safety Team

Everyone was so grateful and appreciative.  We all had such an amazing time.  Plus there was a ton of food donated so we ate sandwiches, snacks, Atlanta Bread Company baked goods.  I kept taking little pieces of the Atlanta Bread stuff every time I walked by.  I would have been better off just eating a whole, instead I probably ate like 8 whole muffin tops.

Moral of the story: ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!  If any of this interests you, go out and get involved.  Days like this make peoples day (and may have made mine even more).

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One thought on “Adaptive Water Ski Clinic

  1. This sounds so amazing. There is a an adaptive sports program at a rehabilitation hospital not far from me in CT and I really want to try to get up there sometime this summer to do some observation time and check it out.

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