Sunday, January 25, 2009
Now I naturally want to know how Bryson is progressing. I asked Gary, Bryson's ski instructor, how hard he was holding on to Bryson with the straps from behind. Gary told me that if he would take the straps off him, Bryson would just fly down the hill and, ultimately lose control and probably wreck. But at the end of the 1+ hours of lessons, Gary said, "I want to do an experiment." Those words were have terrifying and half thrilling. Without hesitation, Gary started pulling Bryson up the hill. About 50 feet up, Gary turned Bryson around and unhooked the straps from Bryson's skis. "Go ahead, Bryson," he said. "I want to see you stop at the bottom." To my excitement, Bryson kept his composure really well (even though an grown man learning ski hit the ground hard about 20 feet away from him). When he got within 15 feet of us, his teacher began yelling out, to make a wedge with his skis and stop himself...and he DID!
He's doing so good...doing his daddy so proud.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
(My dad's probably reading this, brow furrowed wondering when exactly he ever said this. Honestly, I'm not sure he ever did...but it did make for a SWEET title, didn't it?)
Thanks to the good people at The Adaptive Adventure Sports Coalition (TAASC), Bryson took a chance in the single digit weather (probably sub-freezing with the windchill) of last Saturday to do something I never considered as I lay in the rock-hard-imitation la-z-boy chair in the waiting room of Nationwide Children's Hospital as his leg was being amputated: SKIING. TAASC, based out of Columbus, Ohio, offers opportunities to individuals with disabilities to "enhance their quality of life" through adventure sports (kayaking, skiing, water skiing, cycling, sailing and ice skating). In English, we paid $40 for a family membership so that on select 2 hour segments through the week, we pay $15 for ski lesson, ski rentals, and lift tickets...DID YOU HEAR THAT!?! $15!!! Thank you TAASC! (You can check them out at www.taasc.org.)
The plan was simple: because of the weather, take 2 or 3 trips down the slopes, go in and warm up for a few minutes, and repeat for an hour or so. After 3 trips down, and an average of four falls per trip, Gary, Bryson's below-knee amputee ski instructor, and the other five observers asked Bryson, "Are you hands cold?" ("No.") "Are your feet cold?" ("No.") "Do you want to go again?" ("Yes" with a smile.) And so again he went...for 1 hour and 15 minutes straight!putting pressure on the left ski), he had too much weight to begin with and he'd biff. It was pretty cute as he lay there in his bulky size 6 ski coat as 5 adults gather to pick him up. (He couldn't move at all in that coat.) They'd pop him up on his skis and, with little hesitation, continued down the slope. By the end of the day, with a grin frozen on his face, this is what you would have seen...
Again, after 1 hour and 15 minutes on the slopes, a cup of hot chocolate, and a call home to mom (see below)...
Home we went. On the way home my dad (the wise one not necessarily quoted above who accompanied me, he with the camera and I with the camcorder), he turned to me and said, "I needed to see that." According to dad, it was one of the first things he's seen that's convinced him that there's more to Bryson's future than we can possibly begin to imagine at this moment.
I agree...what a day.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
I also wanted to let you all know that on Thursday Bryson has his first appointment with his endocrinologist. From what I understand they will need to watch Bryson's hormone levels as he matures. I'm anxious to hear what she has to say. We will be sure to update you after the appointment.