Sask. man logs more than 200km while cross-country sit skiing
REGINA -- A Saskatchewan man defied the odds and logged hundred of kilometres cross-country skiing this winter, despite living with a physical disability.
“I wanted to try something, especially with the COVID times, to get out and enjoy the great outdoors and do some socializing,” Scott Glass said.
Like hundreds of Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic, Glass decided to try cross country skiing. However, the classic Nordic version – which involves lunging yourself forward on two skis – wasn’t an option for Glass.
He was in a motorcycle accident in 1998 which left him with a weakened right leg. However, over time it affected more than his lower body.
“You kind of get into that depression mentally and physically you kind of suffer,” Glass said. “Sometimes when you’re not as mobile as you once were, it’s a little harder to just get out.”
Prior to the accident, Glass enjoyed peddle biking and other activities, but those became impossible after so many surgeries and injuries.
The 49-year-old reached out to SASKI Skiing for the Disabled. It’s a branch of the Saskatchewan Ski Association that offers adaptive programming, offers coaching and loans out equipment, like sit skis.
Glass made a trip to Saskatoon to test out some ski equipment and get a lesson.
“He ran out of steam after about 200 meters in the first lessons,” explained Jeff Whiting, a coach with the Saskatchewan Ski Association.
Glass quickly learned that sit skiing is a different beast. The sport requires a lot of upper body strength since the skier’s feet are strapped into a sled on top of the skis.
“Kind of a love-hate relationship with the sit ski because it was really hard on the upper body,” Glass admitted.
Glass did his first laps at Douglas Park in Regina on Nov. 29. He said the first few outings were about one kilometre in distance. However, he’d logged more than 200 kilometres on his sit ski by the end of February
“Even though I work full-time, I still made time to get out and enjoy it because it gave me that goal, something to look forward too,” Glass said.
Whiting was shocked at the committment shown by the rookie.
“Going out about every day, and that’s pretty unusual for a newbie. I’m pretty impressed,” Whiting laughed.
Glass even skied during the recent cold snap.
One of the Nordic ski sleds loaned to Glass, known as a Tessier from France, will now go to an athlete preparing for the Canada Winter Games.
Glass said you don’t need to be a pro to try the sport.
“I hope that I can help others who maybe are struggling mentally or physically to find their something that boosts their quality of life,” Glass said.