WAFFLES: What the heck is THIS??? Some kind of crazy cat or something?
WAFFLES: I didn't approve another CAT. And not one that looks like THIS!
ELLIE: Pretty sure it's a mask, Mr. Waffles. Glogirly's mask. For her masquerade ball and stuff.
WAFFLES: Doesn't smell like a cat.
ELLIE: That's account of it's a mask, Mr. Waffles.
WAFFLES: Doesn't taste like a cat either.
ELLIE: Mr. Waffles doesn't really listen much, does he?
Glogirly and the Masquerade Ball
Lots of excitement here last Friday evening! If you've been following our blog over the winter months, it probably comes as no surprise that she's fallen in love with skiing. So much so, that she became a volunteer alpine ski instructor with an organization called Ignite Adaptive Sports.
Their mission is to ignite personal growth, independence, and confidence in people with disabilities on the Front Range, and in surrounding mountain and Northern Colorado communities, by providing caring, safe, and fun adaptive winter snowsports opportunities.
Glogirly had the pleasure of attending (and SPEAKING at!) the Ignite Adaptive Sports Masquerade Benefit Gala. It's their once-a-year major fundraising event. It was a wonderful evening surrounded by people who share a passion for this great organization and the athletes they serve. Glogirly was invited to share her story of skiing with Anita, a blind skier who has made a huge and lasting impression on her. We hear it went super well. And we're told she made grown men cry.
There was a super fun photo booth made out of an old gondola. Glogirly and her dear ski-friend Holly who came with her to enjoy the evening together, had lots of fun posing inside.
A few of our friends have asked us to share her "speech" here on our blog. It's not really a speech though, more of a conversation. It's not super long...about a 4-5 minute story.
We hope you enjoy it as much as she enjoyed sharing it.
"Hello, my name is Debbie Glovatsky. I’d like to tell you about a woman. Her name is Anita.(Lights go dark)
This is what Anita sees…every day. She’s a 67-year-old Navy veteran. A mother and grandmother. She’s full of love and light. And yet…she’s totally blind.
Imagine flying down Muleshoe, a favorite black diamond run at Eldora. Feeling the fresh corduroy under your feet, catching your breath in a rush of mountain air. Both exhilarating and challenging. Now imagine doing that without your sight. That’s what Anita does. And that’s just one of many things she lives for.
I’m a new volunteer with Ignite, an assistant alpine instructor. And that sunny Thursday morning when I had the honor of skiing with Anita, I became a first-time blind skiing guide. We skied in a tight line of three. I took the lead in front, Anita followed, and Inge, a very skilled and experienced instructor followed in back.
Anita followed the sound of my skis. I know…it almost sounds crazy, right? The only time I yelled out a word, a warning, was just before coming to a fast stop, like where there was a major change in terrain.
I’ll never forget her giggles and smiles at one of those stops we made. She said she was in her “happy place.” And I was in awe.
A few of you have had the pleasure of skiing with Anita, so this will come as no surprise. Anita likes to ski FAST. Like REALLY FAST. Blue runs are fine, but her heart is with the black diamonds.
(Lights back up)
I only came back to the sport two seasons ago, after a 30-year hiatus. I was doing wedge turns down the green runs that first day back. But I fell in love and worked very hard on building and practicing my skills. By the end of that first season, I started noticing the neon green and blue jackets in the chairlift lines and on the slopes. I thought to myself, “wow…what an incredible thing these people are doing. What an amazing experience for the skiers and riders they’re helping.” The more I saw them, the more I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could help in some small way. I’m no expert skier, but I’d become proficient enough that I hoped there could be a role for me. So, I signed up, took the training, and got to wear one of those blue and green jackets.
Leading Anita was one of the most physically and mentally challenging things I’ve done ever. Let alone on a pair of skis. I had to focus like never before. Keeping my turns consistent, predictable, and quick. Anticipating other skiers, signage, trees… All the while skiing at the very top of my ability and pushing my speed on some of the steepest terrain. Oh, and maintaining complete control, there’s that.
When we finished and said our goodbyes, she gave me a huge hug. She was so gracious. So grateful. I told her how much I admired her. That she was my new hero. She just smiled and laughed.
On the drive home I had a chance to reflect on my experience with her. Her courage, confidence, and pure joy were so inspiring and a priceless gift that I carry with me today."