Sally’s first lesson with the BOEC

SallyFrancklyn_BOEC

Editor’s Note: Sally Francklyn is a former online editor of SKI and Skiing Magazine as well as the former blog editor of Vail Resorts. On March 24, 2012 Sally fell while skiing in the backcountry of Jackson, Wyo. and is now inspiring others with her story of surviving a traumatic brain injury. Watch her story here.  Two years later, she’s getting back on skis with the help of the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, a local organization that does incredible work with adaptive skiers, wounded warriors, paralympians and more. Here, Sally recounts her first lesson with the organization. Read more about her fall and recovery here. Stay tuned for more details from Sally on her work with the BOEC. 

Getting back on skis was super important to me, so I’m glad I did that with BOEC. Skiing used to be a huge part of my life, and I traveled the world for it- going to places like Chile and New Zealand. My parents had a ski cabin even before I was born, so I started riding in my dad’s backpack while backcountry skiing when I was six months old.  During high school and college, I volunteer ski patrolled, and after college, I worked at Ski Magazine. From there, I moved to Jackson, Wyoming because I got a public relations job supporting ski brands.  So yes, skiing has always been a part of my life.

But I was injured while backcountry skiing outside of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and my life changed forever. I had a traumatic brain injury, which means my balance, strength, and handwriting are all different (for example, I used to be right handed, and now I’m left handed). My first lesson with BOEC was fabulous because it meant I was back out on skis. During the first time I went with them, the instructors skied really slow alongside me. But the second and third time I went with them, I was able to ski alongside them faster. It was good that they didn’t rush me; that I could go at my own pace. But once I “sped up,” they allowed me to do that.

Skiing for me isn’t like it used to be — and there’s no way it will ever be the same. What mattered to me most, though, was getting back on skis, rather than being jealous that other people were at a higher level than myself. I’m not able to ski like I used to, but that doesn’t matter — at least I was back on skis. Yes, skiing will take some re-learning, but the fact that it doesn’t scare me to try, makes all the difference in the world.

 Watch Sally’s first downhill skiing lesson with the BOEC:

– Sally Francklyn