Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Monday, 3 February 2014

My Snowshoe Experience with #SpecialOlympics

Yesterday I went snowshoeing for the very first time and am still alive to write about it. Go me.

My rented snowshoes. Pretty slick these days.
Apparently there is a left and right foot. 
Mine are on backwards. 

This year Riley wanted to try (translation: I signed him up for) Special Olympics Snowshoeing. Like with any new activity, Riley does much better with a support person other than me or G. This week M could not make it so I decided what better time for me to go and watch; now that R has been broken in was used to going. So at 7:30am we left to meet the bus.

The athletes start out by walking a few laps (~150m ‘track’) to get warmed up. Then they practice racing. They are divided into 3 groups; run 4 races; 1-2 laps each. Competitive would not be a word to describe Riley. At all. So as you can imagine “I'LL BE WHINING!!” was heard A. LOT!  

After about 30 minutes it was time to head out into the trails. Stamina is Riley’s middle name. He loves this part of the program!! He was up at the front of the pack while I…well I…I…was at the back. The very back. The only person behind me was one of the coaches who had to be there.

M took this picture the 1st week.
You can get an idea of how far ahead they were.

It’s not like M had not warned me. She did. I was planning on waiting in the warm, cozy lodge reading a book while they went on their hike. It wasn’t until yesterday morning that I made the decision (mostly out of guilt) to go along.

With the lodge still in sight I seriously doubted my decision and thought I should have probably gone with a less energetic group. We were only halfway up the hill and I was already sucking wind and sweating profusely. Three quarters of the group were already out of sight. The only athlete I was able to pass was a young man whose snowshoe had fallen off. I wasn’t about to lose my momentum and stop to help him…surely that was a job for the rear coach.  :)

There was no rest for the weary with this group. By the time the rear coach and I caught up to the front of the pack they were packing away their water bottles and ready to get going again. Good thing I wasn’t thirsty.  

At the halfway point we stopped to take in the gorgeous scenery. I managed to get out my camera just in time to zoom in all the way and take this shot of them heading off again.  

Three-quarters of the way through we stopped at a rustic cabin for a quick snack. R ate quickly so I was able to snap a few pictures without having to use the zoom.

The day would not have been complete without a selfie of the two of us! maybe R could have done without the selfie.  ;)
BTW...R is not that much taller than me.
He was trying to run away so was that much closer to the camera. 

I can not say enough about what a wonderful organization Special Olympics is! If you ever have the opportunity to go watch, volunteer or participate, I guarantee you will walk away with a smile on your face. The sportsmanship, camaraderie and support...the best I have seen!


  1. K has the same stamina! I decided we would go on walks over the summer and was concerned I'd tire her out. Instead I found myself huffing and puffing my way up the hills saying, "Kirsten, can you slow down a bit?!" I definitely could have kept you company in the rear. ;)

    1. G says the same thing. When they go for a walk...R likes to stay ahead and will put on the jets if G starts to catch up. Riley isn't even breathing hard when they get home. G...more like me. Haha!

  2. Good for you, going out on the trail with him! I would have been whining the entire time. :)
    Great photos. I especially like the one of R smiling with the snow-covered trees behind him. The selfie is hysterical.

    1. I think I forgot to mention the trails we went on were "BLACK DIAMOND"!!!!! Thankfully there wasn't enough snow because they have done Double Black Diamonds in the past. EEEP!!!

      Yea...he was having no part of the selfie. HA!

  3. lmao backwards! hahaaa I soooo love you lol!
    and, the selfie.. he looks like he's screaming at you! That is my absolute favorite picture ever lol lol Oh I'm so jealous!! I wish Tommy would do HALF of that!

    1. I noticed after the break that I had them on backwards but couldn't be bothered to change them. I thought it was rather stupid that the straps were flapping and getting in the way. Oi-vay.

      Oh he absolutely screamed at me. Thankfully no one was around. :P

  4. yeah, I think I would have been keeping you company at the back of the line. LOL
    my kids continually surprise me. the same kids that claim to be tired to pick up their toys, or bring their backpacks to the kitchen; can go sledding for hours. dragging those sleds back up the big hill what must be close to a hundred times.
    I'd love to try this -- it would be great to get out in the woods nearby and take my camera too.

    1. Unfortunately I didn't have much time to admire the scenery on the trails...too busy trying to keep up and not trip on my snowshoes. You know....since they were on THE WRONG FEET!!! Oi-vay. I'm sure you would get some amazing photos though. :D

  5. I love being out in the snow. I used to go cross country skiing with the key word used to. I haven't gone in years. Shame on me. Your photos remind me that I should go because it is beautiful. Loved the post and the selfie. This made me smile.

  6. It was a beautiful day!!! Our friends sometimes go night snowshoeing. They take a flask. I would like that. :D