To quote one of the coaches that I've been in contact with, she said I am "moving at race pace. And, she's not kidding.
It's been a mere week before my crazy plan was put into motion and it's picked up some momentum since then.
In just this short time, I've managed to be invited to a training camp out in Alberta, refused to go because I didn't have the funds, and then be offered the funds by an anonymous sponsor. I can hardly believe it.
Let me start at a somewhat beginning point.
This evening I sat down with a member of my local cross country ski club, a coach and a ski enthusiast. A meeting that I assumed would last about 45 minutes to an hour went over two hours. We sat and discussed my goals and what I needed to do to get there. The most obvious was getting a hold of ski equipment since I currently own none and then the chat turned to the training camp that I had so kindly been invited to and had regretfully declined. We talked about my commitment and how important I thought this training camp was.
I told them that I think the camp is important for many reasons, one of them being that it would expose my coach and/or potential guide to Para sport in an environment conducive to learning. I don't know what I'm doing quite frankly and no one here has ever trained, let alone guided, a totally blind athlete before. Of course other camp opportunities will come up, but who knows if I will be invited again and who knows when those will be. With this season being a Winter Paralympic/Olympic Games year, a lot of the development elements aren't being focused on, and rightfully so. We could take this season to "get our feet under us," so to speak, and muddle through the best we can, but going to this training camp would give us a good leg up. It would also be a good opportunity for me to see if I'm even cut out to be a Para Nordic skier.
After I rambled on about why I thought this camp would be beneficial, I was told that there was someone willing to sponsor me. Basically, the money to go to the camp was there if I wanted it.
I'm not over exaggerating when I say that I was fighting back tears.
Here I had struggled for nearly five years to get back into competitive sport and within two hours, I was on my way.
My meeting also resulted in me getting my starter equipment taken care of. So, now all I have to pay is my club fee and trail pass fee which obviously makes things so much easier for me. Not only was the financial support completely amazing, and slightly humbling, but the confidence that these three people had in me made my head spin.
We still have work to do, like the recruitment of guides for both on the snow and off, but right now I think I will just revel in the genuine awesomeness of this entire situation.
It's been a few hours and I'm still in shock and probably will be for the next few days.