NEDS winter program is such a well organized and well run program! The staff and volunteers at Loon have a great sense of camaraderie and love getting anyone possible out on the snow having a good time. I admit, I am much more of a summer girl than a winter girl. And after skiing the west coast, I became rather jaded about the snow we get here in New England. It took me a few years after moving back to haul myself back up to the mountains to go skiing again.
When I started going up to assist with adaptive ski program, I was genuinely embraced by the NEDS family of volunteers. Even though I am a mediocre skier at best and really can't give ANYONE tips for improving their skiing whatsoever, I didn't feel out of place at all. I was another set of hands when needed, a rehab mind, if needed, and another person to add to the social atmosphere, always needed. Along with assisting the disabled athletes, I was getting tips for becoming a better skier, myself. (After all, you can't tell what is going wrong for somebody skiing on one leg when you are skiing wrong on two legs!) Best of all, I was able to once again re-discover my love for skiing while helping others to do the same.
Kostic Cup weekend culminates the fund-raising efforts of the NEDS winter program, which is necessary to keep this great program running . It was nice to be able to be present when the new skiers got medals for going out there and trying something new, the more seasoned skiers get trophies for placing in the afternoon's races, and the volunteers get recognition for all their hard work. The winner of the Kostic Cup isn't necessarily the fastest or most agile skier in the NEDS program. Instead, it's the skier who most clearly embodies the spirit of the NEDS program: striving for personal excellence, respect for others, being able to both teach and learn from others, and contributing to the sense of community. Which, quite frankly, means alot more than simply being the fastest.
Sunday night found me in the absolute best state one can be in after a weekend: tired, happy, a little sore, and completely fulfilled. It's good feeling. It was a good time.