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Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Day in the Life...

Limitations.  Doing things differently.  Taking twice or three-times as long just to get dressed in the morning. Stairs? ...I'll take the ramp, thank you.  Oops, the ramp is blocked with a trash can.  Doctor.  Co-pay.  Catheters.  Weakness.  Everything is too high, and I can't reach it in this chair.  Hey!  Please talk to me like I'm intelligent enough.  Stress.  Pain.  Stretching muscles.  Need to use the bathroom.  Oops, the wheelchair stall is taken.  Yes, I'm happy to hear about your grandma's neighbor's co-worker who used a wheelchair when he had a broken leg.  Need big parking space to unload chair.  Oops, all disabled spots are taken.  Need help.  Feel helpless.  No, no, I feel strong.  I'm strong--at least I think I'm strong.

Those are typical things many of our athletes deal with on a daily basis.

Then, when they get to the ice rink, everything changes.

Hockey gear.  I can do this.  Out of chair, into sled.  Ice.  Freedom.  Gliding along.  Falling over and getting up on my own.  Strategy.  Skills.  Faster!  Faster!  Faster!  Around the cones.  Score a goal.  Try again.  Score again.  I am better than I was at last practice.  I'm improving.  Yay!  My team relies on me. I can make this shot.  I am important.  I am an athlete.  People watch  me in the stands.  People cheer for me.  I am excited.  They are excited.  Teammate needs help.  I can help.  I worked so hard, I wore myself out.  Sweat.  Thirsty.  Worked so hard I didn't even notice the cold.  Need to take a shower.  It's a good tired.  Can't wait to come back.  I know I am strong!

We're not here!  We're playing sled hockey!

If you're wondering what a practice is like, take a peek!

7:00 PM- get to Ice Town in Riverside.  Sled hockey gear is being hauled inside.  I help by hauling a bag and a sled.

7:10 PM-I get my gear and helmet on.  If I don't have my own gear, I can borrow a helmet, elbow pads, and gloves from the sled hockey team.  They have extras.

7:20 PM- I get situated in my sled and strapped in.  If I don't have my own sled, the team has some team sleds to lend me.
7:30 PM- I get out on the ice.  Warm up.  Coach Dave runs me through drills and scrimmages.  I learn several things and I improve my skills.

8:15-8:20- I get off the ice, tired.  I get out of my sled, get my gear off, and say my good-byes.  It was a good practice.  Can't wait to come back.

The next morning-I wake up and I'm a little sore, but it's a good feeling because I know I worked hard last night.

Below is a JPG of a flyer for the Junior Reign Sled Team.  Click on it to save it to your computer.  Come on out...and share this with your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, etc... That's why there are 2 flyers together.  One is for you, and the other is for....