Sarah Taylor-Marshall's story
Posted by Sarah Taylor-Marshall on 8th December 2015 in Blog
Sarah Taylor-Marshall's story
A few years ago I suffered a spinal injury which left me with right sided numbness in my leg and foot as well as constant pain in my lower spine. I was told about 18 months ago that I needed to accept that I was going to end up in a wheelchair (I was already using crutches and foot splint). Following some personal tragedies and difficulties, I decided to create a 'dreams list' for me and my daughter. The first on the list was to learn to ski and on the 1st January, my daughter took her first lesson with Phil Harrison who was fantastic with her. Unfortunately before I was able to take my 2nd lesson, I suffered a suspected brain bleed and subsequently they found a non cancerous tumour.
After things settled down, I called up and took a lesson with Luke who was amazing and such a support. Unfortunately due to the weakness in my leg, I struggled to do snowplough but I still felt I had achieved something. Luke and Brian spent some time talking to me about how they were going to approach my lessons and what they as instructors were going to do to help me. My next lesson was with Nigel due to Luke doing race training. I had met Nigel a few times before because he had taken my daughter on Excel. I explained all about my leg and back issues and that I was a very nervous skier and straight away he put my mind at ease and told me that by the end of the session I would be skiing on my own unaided from the top of the nursery slope. I didn't think it would be possible but by the end of the session, I skied from the top unaided, I couldn't believe it. Nigel and Luke were there watching and supporting me. It felt amazing and was so nice to see everyone cheering, even the rental staff including Gemma and Rob Wood.
I had a few more sessions with Nigel on the nursery slope and then Luke took me onto the main slope on a level 3 and I passed it first time. Everyone was so pleased for me. It was during this time that I was diagnosed with the tumour and I can't thank or express enough the gratitude I have for all the support your coaching and rental staff have shown me and Olivia since.
Following this, I took a couple of level 4's and took some bad falls thanks to my leg and my confidence completely went. I spoke with Nigel one Sunday and he was able to sort me a level 3 session out to help me get the confidence back, which is what happened. I then booked with him a couple of level 4's and again took some stumbles thanks to my leg but each time I fell, Nigel was there to help me get up and carry on. Then the time came, I had to go from the top again which in the beginning we never thought was going to happen due to the issues with my leg. I was so nervous I felt sick and was shaking. Rob Wood was on the lift and helped me to get off at the top and kept telling me how amazing I am doing and then the time came for me to go over the edge. I was shaking but Nigel explained everything to me about how much pressure I will need to use on my outside leg, how many turns we would do and then pause, and that he was going to ski backwards and will always be in front of me. Then the time came and we started. I was shocked but I did it and I skied from the top. When I got to the bottom everyone was cheering and smiling, I thought I was going to cry. But then I had to do it again, which I did straight away.
18 months ago I was told I would need a wheelchair and as of today, I can ski. This wouldn't be possible without Nigel, his support and expertise.
I would also like to thank Rob Wood, Phil Harrison, Meg Knell, Brian Evans, Luke Allwood, Pete Winterbottom, Michaela Bell, Becky Towler, Josh Bennett, Josh Beck and Tori White, without their support, advice and shoulders that allowed me to cry on, I would have given up after my first stumble.