“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Today, I had one of those moments

It’s hard for me to describe what happened to me last week but it’s worth a shot.

Every Friday, I will be participating as a volunteer in a free ice skating instruction program for blind students, called Stride to Succeed. Last Friday was my first session. I walked into the arena, which is normally familiar territory to me, and, for the first time in my life, I didn’t know what to expect.  I’m not going to lie… I was intimidated. I have done a lot of volunteer work before but never with anyone who couldn’t see me, and the thought of that initially made me feel a little uncomfortable.

I hopped on the ice and took a moment, looked around, and realized that these kids were amazing and fearless.

We began to skate together.  Still feeling out of my element, I began skating with one of the students, a 20 year old participant, who was my partner in the first exercise.  She has been a part of the program for 5 years and was extremely proud to share that information with me right away. We were face-to-face and hand-to-hand, and she was using my hands as balance.  She had to push me using her skating stride and without knowing how I was looking at her; her smile, laughter and sense of freedom was remarkable. As we went from one end of the rink to the other, I had her try to slam me against the boards to create a loud noise at the end, knowing it would make her laugh and so that she would have the opportunity to know what kind of person I am…a joker.

After the exercise was over, I partnered up with a different student. We began talking and, after we introduced ourselves to one another, he asked me if I liked the Habs. Right away I knew this kid and I would get along. I literally talked about the Montreal Canadiens with him for 20 minutes; he was a huge fan.  He was skating fluidly because of the conversation, and the comfort and trust he had in my voice. The way he skated harder and the way he got to know me was by listening to my voice and it was incredible to see first hand. I was skating backwards the whole time we were talking.  I would distance myself from him at times, so he would skate faster towards me; he was able to go faster by continuing to engage in our conversation and following the sound of my voice. P.S. The conversation was mostly about PK Subban and how SICK he is.

After the program was over and it was time to get off the ice, the students went into the locker room with smiles from ear to ear. I have never been so shocked and impressed with a group of kids. They literally went skating for an hour not being able to see a thing. I still couldn’t grasp what just happened. When I said goodbye and see you next week, they all screamed back with GOODBYE JEREMY!!! I couldn’t help but smile, and I truly felt a sense of gratitude and appreciation.  The sense of trust was indescribable. I left feeling incredibly inspired.

 Jer

Advertisements

Posted on November 23, 2010, in Community, Sports. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Is Jeremy single?

  2. Jordan "MIT" biberkraut

    Hi Jeremy

    your post is very inspiring. it is nice to give back to the community and get involved.

    im happy to see what you are doing is very fulfilling.

    i look forward to more events!

    keep up the good work

    jordan mark biberkraut sr.

  3. keep it up jer, very proud of you!

  4. Good for u my man…thats what it’s all about.

  5. A great initiative Jer! Way to go!

  6. wow!! what an amazing story!!! thats great you had so much fun!!! i can tell without being there that you left a bigger mark than what you think!!!
    write more, i cant wait!
    promise me a free lesson when i come back!!!
    p.s.
    you still suck at poker!

  7. Really touching story. Great to see your giving back to the community. Keep up the efforts, society needs more people like you.

  8. Very inspiring….you should be proud of yourself.Thx for sharing

  9. Nice job Jer, great article.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: