The Chronicles Of A Sighted Guide And A Blind Skier

The Chronicles Of A Sighted Guide And A Blind Skier

I ski following a sighted guide and we communicate via Bluetooth headsets in our helmets.
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Whenever I tell people I am a World Cup visually impaired ski racer, their first question is always, “Well how do you ski race if you’re blind?” The answer is that I can’t do it alone. I ski following a sighted guide and we communicate via Bluetooth headsets in our helmets. My guide and I ski down some of the world's steepest terrain at speeds upwards of fifty miles an hour together. Guide/ athlete pairs have a very interesting dynamic that is based off of communication and trust. Most strong relationships depend on a foundation of communication and trust, so it is perhaps unsurprising that this is the case. The pair must be able to communicate efficiently while on course as well as off the snow. For example, my guide tells me when to turn as well as what types of terrain we are hitting and in response, I tell her where I am and how far apart we are. Trust is incredibly important because the athlete must be able to depend on the guide to help him/ her safely navigate down a course. For someone like me who is a little bit of a control freak, it can be challenging giving away all of the control to someone else. Guides have a lot of responsibility helping their athletes, but it’s also a really incredible experience for the guide as well. Whenever a visually impaired person wins a medal, their guide receives one too. Guiding gives people an amazing opportunity to travel the world and compete in huge races including world championships and Paralympic games. However, guiding does come with a cost. It is a huge time commitment to travel full time with a blind athlete, and it takes a really selfless person to be a guide because a guide has to essentially give up his/ her own racing career and be fully dedicated to the dreams of the blind athlete. Together an athlete and guide make up a team and in order to be successful the pair must be equally dedicated to the goal.

In my case, that goal is to be one of the best visually impaired ski racers in the world and to compete in the 2018 PyeongChang winter Paralympics. Luckily for me I have the most spectacular guide to follow around the world. My guide, Sadie DeBaun, is a ski racer from Park City, Utah who I started working with a little over a year ago. We developed a strong relationship after a short time together, largely because we became really close friends on and off the snow. It took us some time to get to know each other, but I trust that Sadie will communicate to me everything I need to know. Not only when we are skiing, but on any adventures we may take on. Whether it be navigating through a buffet dinner in Europe, or finding the finish line of a World Cup, we are in it together. Without this trust and communication, it would be impossible for us to succeed on the World Cup circuit. Ski racing is unpredictable and challenging, and one of the reasons we are such an accomplished team is because no matter what situation we get into we know that we can work together to get out of it.

As we travel around Europe for the start of the International Paralympic Alpine Skiing World Cup circuit, I am continuously reminded of how lucky I am to be following someone who is so dedicated and committed to our goals. In ski racing there are a lot of ups and downs. It isn’t about always winning, it’s about being able to learn from all the falls and getting up stronger. Every day we go out to ski with two priorities; to have fun and to be better than we were yesterday. Regardless of the medals we end up with, Sadie and I will always share the memories, which is arguably even more valuable.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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7 Lies From F*ckboys That We've All Fallen For At Least Once

They might've had you goin' for a hot second, but you know better now.
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There’s no use in even frontin’; we’ve all been there. You know he’s a f*ckboy from the beginning, but you’re interested in pursuing him anyway. Ain't no thang; I fully support you.

You tell yourself you won’t fall for his games or lies because you’ve been through it all so many times before. Yet, time and time again, you find yourself slippin’ for a hot second, wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt until he inevitably disappoints you. Here are the top seven lies you’ve heard from f*ckboys that get you heated every time.

1. You’re the only girl I’m talking to/sleeping with


HAHAHA. OK, first, I don't actually care what (or who) you're doing in your spare time because you're definitely not the only guy I'm seeing either. I'm just asking so I know you're clean, OK? I don't need more stress in my life.

2. I know how to treat girls right

Isn't it super ironic how the WORST f*ckboys are the ones to toss this line?

3. I’ll text you

This statement is so unbelievable that on the off chance that they do actually text you, you basically fall out of your chair in shock.

4. I’m gonna give it to you good

I cry/cringe/die of laughter every time I hear this one because it's always the mediocre ones that throw this line. None of my most memorable hookups have ever said this because their actions clearly speak for them. Mediocre boys, TAKE NOTE.

5. Damn, I wanted to see you though

Well, you were supposed to, but then you clearly had other plans in mind. So the desire wasn’t all that intense, obviously.

6. Yeah, she and I broke up

CLASSIC LIE. CLASSIC. Sure, I believed it the first couple of times, but don’t even try that sh*t with me after I see she’s still blowin’ up your line.

7. *No response for hours after making plans* Damn, sorry I fell asleep


Honestly, how many times are you gonna throw that line when you’re literally viewable on Snap Map. BOY, I see you at someone else’s house. Stop frontin’, there’s no point.


Again, don't ask me why we put up with this sh*t because the mystery remains. I guess in our own sick, twisted ways, we crave the dramatics and thrills that come from their f*ckery. Whatever the reason, though, at least we've got some ~fun~ stories to tell.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube | I'm Shmacked

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“All-inclusive” Sports Do More Harm Than Good

The real world requires skill sets and diligence, not a degree in complaining about “fairness.”
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Our school years have an enormous impact on the way we grow as we get older. Who we turn out to be depends greatly (although not entirely) on how we are brought up and what we experience between the ages of 4 and 18. Without realizing it everything we face affects our futures; getting us ready to thrive on our own. One of the most significant things we experience growing is the possibility of failure and the need to improve. High school sports and interactive clubs are coincidentally the primary source of experience for this necessary life lesson.

High school extracurriculars such as clubs and club sports are all-inclusive, a way to enjoy a hobby without being “cut” and to experience and delve into different ideas. Clubs are important in that they help shape our values and thought processes without the “tough love” aspect but instead as an equal group of members.

High school sports and teams are not the same thing nor should they be. Most high school sports involve tryouts and result in some participants to get cut from consideration, or in some cases are placed between “A” and “B” teams based on talent and ability. High school sports in this way teach us the necessity to improve and the need to exceed, traits imperative to success in careers in the real world. Sports that have room for a certain number of teammates cause players and athletes to have to show their worth, prove their strength and exercise dedication. Not taking a team sport seriously and lacking to show any steadfast traits ultimately results in failure to make the team. This should show athletes that wanting something does not get you anywhere, rather working for it and putting the effort in is what will get you there. The failure to make a team and the threat of less playing time as a consequence for deficient effort makes a determined individual work harder and focus on improving the skills necessary to succeed.

The real world requires effort and determination. To succeed and excel in careers you need to work hard, prove your worth and exemplify strength and diligence in your field. You will not get anywhere without hard work and constantly improving your skills and abilities. Success in reality is like success on a team sport: if you show little desire and hardly any rigor you will not get anywhere nor will you climb further in success in your career. Knowing how to fix what you do wrong or are not excellent in, not whining and complaining about the basis for success “not being fair” is how you will get places in life, whether in sports or in careers.

High school teams becoming “all-inclusive” is more harmful than it is good to society. To eliminate the expectations of a team sport, to not require hard work and effort and a skill set is to teach teens laziness and to expect what you want instead of working for it. Giving in to every single participant does not reflect the necessary prerequisites for success in the workforce. High school sports have more importance to our development than just exercise and athleticism. Allowing every participant to be on a team or get a trophy fails to mold students into successful, driven adults. If you do not want to face being cut from a team or not playing as much, join a club sport instead of a team sport.

The real world requires improvement for us to be successful. Participation trophies and “all-inclusive” sports teams teach us otherwise.

Cover Image Credit: LexiHanna

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