Keratoconus will not stop me from skiing

So autumn is now well and truly upon us and the nights draw in, spare a thought for all who dread this time of year. As a Keratoconus sufferer and a ski athlete I am always in two minds, part of me thinks an endless summer would be great. The winter months always pose a difficult existence be it driving, reading or even just sitting in the house with the heating on. I wear two contact lenses per eye, one being the soft spherical lens that seems to dry out whenever the heating is on, the other being an RGP hard lens that mists up whenever driving. So driving is bad enough normally, but now it’s dark at about 1700 and the lights dazzle…

Keratoconus will not stop me from skiing

…on the plus side as a ski athlete this is a time of excitement, looking forward to the training and the competitions, trips to Austria, Germany or France! Then of course Christmas is soon to come and with small children (I’m the biggest kid on the planet) it’s going to be awesome!

Ash Winter - Keratoconus will not stop me from skiing

Let’s think about the winter, the cold crisp mornings, the hot cup of tea, scraping the ice of the van ready to go up the mountain ready to hurtle down again, putting the helmet on, goggles down, take a deep breath and go go go! Whilst making my way down I feel very much alive, getting faster, the wind in my face, not even thinking about the Keratoconus, but then sometimes the lenses mist up, I get a kaleidoscope effect meaning no vision I’m going downhill fast but that’s when I have to believe in my team. Making sure I can see the blob or outline of the bright blue jacket of a team member I follow them down, either hoping this episode will pass or having to use a guide….

…nothing will stop me skiing! #bringonthewinter

The above story was shared by Ashley Winter (@ash_adventure), a CSDST athlete, and a member of our keratoconus community.

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