March Madness

March 1, 2009




Oh yeah, it is basketball finals season.  I am so excited.  I love the Red Sox.  I don’t know anything about sports.  Just not that interested.  …Until this past weekend.  Mariah and I just came back from Gettysburg, PA, where we spent two full days skiing with a group of wounded warrior soldiers from here at Walter Reed.  Mariah spent Friday  morning skiing in a sit-down adaptive seat with an instructor attached and helping from behind.  I grabbed some beginner lessons and proceeded to eat snow drift down the side of a mountain.  We had a blast.  In the afternoon we went snow tubing together.  That was a sight-to-see, I am sure.  We went attached down the slope; Clay in front feet-first, Mariah in the middle feet-in-Clay’s ears, and instructor in back, laughing at both of us.  Our third time down, we picked up so much speed that the people “stopping” at the bottom couldn’t catch us and we sailed on through and about broke through the protective mesh fence at the far end of the course.  (That was the part where I crossed myself and thought, “I can see it now: ‘Yeah, Mariah and I had a great time.  Huh?  Where is she? Oh, I might’ve accidentally sent my sister off the side of the mountain in a rubber donut. Totally not my fault, though, the army should’ve kept a closer watch on her.’ ”   I have a whole bag full of outrageous excuses for why nothing is ever my fault.  I am a little brother, and we all carry one of those bags around.

The weekend was truly a gift.  If anyone reading this post happens to have a friend or family member or know someone who needs assistance for athletic sports, if you are in the area (Liberty Mountain Resort), check out “” first.  These guys (and gals!) have a phenomenal program for disabled people with visual, developmental, cognitive, and mobility impairments and provide great care and professionalism to getting people on the slopes and engaging in snow sports that they may have never thought possible.  Sorry for the advertisement, but this was a real memorable event and the folks who provided it are amazing.  

I was headed for a fairly tough intermediate level run this morning after hopping off the top of the lift when Manny and Mike (two of our one-legged skiers) hollered at me to turn left with them down the black diamond course that ran alongside.  I hollered out, “thanks but all three of us will have one leg by the time i fall down to the bottom of that run!”  They laughed and sped off.  Oh yeah, Mariah passed me on that blue-level course, and my instructors had just told me they didn’t believe I was a first-time skier considering my speed and ability to parallel and control, so I think Mariah could’ve been clocked at about 130 mph.  Is anyone surprised?  …Didn’t think so.     😉


5 Responses to “March Madness”

  1. Janet King Daw said

    Thanks! I’ve been missing the updates. It was great to talk to you on Friday. We prayed for your fun and safety this weekend. I’m so glad to hear that fun was had by all and that you have no broken bones. It is great to hear that Mariah is able to participate in these adventures.

    Look forward to the next update.

  2. Grandma said

    Good grief — you two have more gumption and guts than I have ever had. More power to you.
    Love, hugs and kisses Grandma

  3. Elizabeth said

    I love it…Mariah is officially a ski Bunny!
    I’ve missed hearing what you guys are up to & am glad you’re doing well. I hear there is plenty of snow up there now…enjoy it!
    Please give Mariah my love.

  4. Leah said

    Looks like so much fun. I’m glad you all got out and enjoyed the winter. I am not so brave on the slopes, but that’s definitely not Mariah. Take care and talk soon, Leah

  5. Sgt. Larry Stoots said

    Captain Kochavi,

    You look like your having a blast. Keep up the good work and return soon. K9 Boelie misses his favorite vet and so does the NSAPD K9 Unit. We look forward to seeing you soon.

    K903 Boelie
    NSAPD K9 Unit
    Fort Meade, Md.

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