Thursday, April 5, 2012

Our Torihada Story - Part Two - Dale Skis

We were asked if we could do a family activity together for the cameras. Dale offered for us to all play paintball (his favorite activity). The producer agreed, but asked if there was anything else we could for the cameras. Well, March in Utah does not lend itself to many typical outdoor activities, especially one-legged ones. We like camping, but it's still winter, and we weren't about to take a camera crew with us snow camping. After a little brainstorming, I asked Dale how he would feel about skiing--for the first time since losing his leg 20 years ago-- in front of the cameras. He agreed, and so did the producer. Now we just had to figure out the logistics. This was Thursday, and the cameras would be here ready to film the event on Monday. I checked websites and made phone calls and in the end, the wonderful volunteers and staff at the National Ability Center in Park City helped us make it happen! 

Prior to losing his leg, Dale was an avid skier. We used to be caretakers of a Lodge that was located right next to Sundance Ski Resort. For two of the three winters we lived there, Dale would ski out our back door and down to the lifts. After losing his leg in May of 1992, he realized he couldn't "do it all" and decided to focus his recreation (and profession) on paintball. Skiing would have to wait. And wait. And wait. And after many years you pretty much figure it'll never happen. We knew there was equipment (outrigger poles) and such, but we didn't know the details. With busy lives and not much "extra" money for something as expensive as skiing can be, we just left the idea to gather dust in the corner. 

For those of you that have learned to ski (and those of you who haven't), picture doing it on one leg with cameras and microphones all around. It's humbling. And HARD! From the moment Dale puts his ski on and stands, he is in pain. His muscles ache and cramp and there is no shifting weight to the other leg to alleviate the pain. But he is strong and getting stronger every time he goes out there.

We are very grateful to the Torihada show, the National Ability Center, and Park City Mountain Resort for making this dream a reality. And a huge thanks to the patience and abilities of Greg and Jack (Dale's instructors).

Learning the basics... with cameras rolling
Magic Carpet Ski Lift (Dale only did this once, then went for the chair lift). Notice the camera-man filming behind him.
Rain was following behind "catching up" to his dad.
Uncle Terry (Dale's brother) helped Ryatt with his first ski day.
Family photos at the end of the day
It was fun to finally see "the crew" taking pictures of each other, not just us.
Group shot with our Japanese friends
Last lesson of the season (12 days later). Dale and Rain skiing together.

1 comment:

  1. The video brought a tear to my eye seeing how Dale was able to Ski again and on one leg. Paralympics are going on in Britain, so We're all very much into the spirit of "miracles happen" and this gives me such a happy feeling of miraculous human nature!