During a ski race at Boreal on March 11, 2007, Lyndsay Slocumb ventured into the terrain park with some fellow racers. At the first jump she went too fast, overshot the landing and fell from the height of about three stories onto her neck and back.
The crash resulted in a traumatic brain injury that left Lyndsay in a coma for four weeks with internal damage to her kidney, pancreas, spleen, lungs and multiple vertebrae. When she awoke from the coma, she found herself paralyzed from the neck down from cervical spinal cord damage.
Following her 2007 injury, Lyndsay had a tremendous recovery. She is currently attending school at UNR, is an adaptive yoga instructor and plays on the adaptive rugby team in Reno.
Her goal for her first Arcade belt was to sharpen her skills on rugby court, by building quickness and speed in her quadrugby chair to become a competitive threat during games. Her specialized quadrugby chair was purchased for her with a board-approved Empowerment Grant from the High Fives Foundation. She has accomplished that goal through practice with the Sierra Storm. She has really developed her chair handling skills, and she has grown comfortable with the ball on offense and defense.
As for Lyndsay’s next goals, by November 11, 2015, she hopes to translate her improved skills on the rugby court into increased playing time in competition with the Sierra Storm. Her third goal should follow suit – Lyndsay plans to score a goal during a rugby game by April 9, 2016.
Hi I’m Lyndsay Slocumb. I’m from Reno Nevada, and I’m a High Fives Athlete.
Lyndsay, can you tell us what happened to you when you injured yourself at Boreal?
The day I injured myself at Boreal, I was there with a whole bunch of other race teams from the Reno-Tahoe, California area at a ski race. And so everyone did their first run in the morning, and then there’s a break for lunch and for the coaches to reset the course. Some of my friends asked me to go to the terrain park with them on way the down to lunch; so I agreed and we hit the jumps. When I hit the jump, I went a little too fast for what I should have been going, and I took off and landed the distance of about 3 stories on my head.
Could you explain what your actual injuries were?
I suffered a brain injury. I suffered several spinal cord injuries, broken ribs, damaged kidney, and I don’t remember all the other ones.
“With yoga I’ve been able to start where I am at and move forward.”
“My goal is to play more time on the rugby court with my teammates during tournaments.”
So what has the recovery process been like? I know it’s certainly been long, and you’re still recovering, but what kind of things really help you rehabilitate your mind and body?
So in the recovery process I found that yoga has given me the most benefit. Because with yoga I’ve been able to start where I am at and move foreword, where other things I’ve attempted don’t really meet me where I’m at. And with yoga, I’ve also learned not just the physical benefits of stretching and strengthening, but also to connect with my inner self to understand the limits I have; to not go past them anymore when I’ve already hit my too-tired point to stop. So yoga has been a great benefit.
Great and are you teaching yoga right now?
Yes, I am. I teach five classes a week.
And to whom do you teach yoga?
Well I teach people with disabilities, and it ranges from a high functioning person with disabilities to someone who has mental and physical limitations. Some of them, in fact, are non-verbal, so I have to adapt to what I help them with all the time.
Do you like teaching yoga?
I love teaching yoga.
So Lyndsay, you have two Arcade belts here, which means you’ve accomplished two great goals, and both of the goals are around the Sierra Storm. So do you want to tell me a little about the Sierra Storm?
Yes, I would love to. So the Sierra Storm is a group of local athletes that are quadriplegics that have come together to play rugby. And this rugby is kind of mix between wheelchair ice hockey and basketball. So in ice hockey you hit each other, and in basketball you don’t. It’s really fun to play.
So you have a third goal. Do you want to tell me about the third goal a little bit?
So my next goal with my chair that High Fives was gracious enough to help me acquire is to actually play more time on the court with my teammates during tournaments to have some fun and show the competition that they have more competition on the way.
What does the future hold for Lyndsay Slocumb?
The future: everything. In the future for me, I see myself teaching more yoga. My major right now at my college at UNR is accounting, so I see myself as an accountant somewhere in a local business helping out.
Perfect. Thanks Lyndsay!