One of the unique opportunities that exists in this spectacular little canyon is the gigantic, herculean even, efforts of the good people at Wasatch Adaptive Sports (WAS) in their mission to encourage those with adaptive needs and their families to realize their potential through recreation. In the wintertime at Snowbird that takes the form of skiing or snowboarding.
Your correspondent spent a day this week with Phil, a Utah transplant and customer of WAS since the winter of 1992. Upon moving to the state as a schoolteacher, a new acquaintance asked him, “Do you ski?” Which struck the mathematics and reading faculty member as odd since he uses crutches. But his friend kept after him despite Phil’s reluctance and as he calls it, “wimping out.” When he finally took the plunge, “I was hooked from day one.”
Not that it wasn’t difficult at first, but the work has paid off. “Every day I come is fun,” states the 57-year-old. What’s more, it’s no cost to families or participants. One need merely show up once you’ve processed with WAS’s team of pros and scheduled your day.
Based on his success and newfound confidence Phil’s even gone skydiving, a sport very near to Canyon Blog’s heart. To repay the wonderful gift of adventure he’s received Phil raises funds annually through his Facebook page.
WAS efforts aren’t limited to winter sports however. The nonprofit offers summer activities such as biking and paddle boarding as well. Check them out (https://wasatchadaptivesports.org/ ) and explore either with a friend or family member who is looking to increase their independence while expanding their horizons and having a great time or as a volunteer. Even if you’re only in town for a short time, assisting is a great way to spend a part of your holiday.
As for Canyon Blog and his day with Phil on his monoski, keeping up became as much a consideration as working together. “Smooth” is the word that comes to mind watching him in action thanks to his hard work and those of the selflessly wonderful instructors and volunteers, as the photos of him shredding Gad Zoom can attest.
Happy Holidays and New Year from Canyon Blog!