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Looking Back to Move Forward

Riding the Pandemic waves at Rocky Mountain Adaptive

Looking Back to Move Forward

By Alana MacLeod on March 17, 2021

Over a year after Covid-19 first struck the Bow Valley, we continue to grapple with its reach. An article in the New York Times this week written by Adam Grant describes what many are feeling as “languishing.” To languish means to lose or lack vitality, grow weak or feeble, or to suffer from being forced to remain in an unpleasant place or situation. In his article, Grant sums this feeling up accurately as a “sense of stagnation.”

“Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021,” Grant writes.

“As scientists and physicians work to treat and cure the physical symptoms of long-haul Covid, many people are struggling with the emotional long-haul of the pandemic. It hit some of us unprepared as the intense fear and grief of last year faded.”

Many of us can understand this sentiment. Every time we’ve seemingly advanced in this pandemic, the glimmer of hope we feel is quickly snuffed out by yet another wave or, more recently, a new variant all together (or many). It’s as if we’re all on a rollercoaster none of us wanted to ride and Covid is the operator; the ups and downs never seem to end and all of us are feeling a little sick at this point.

Here at Rocky Mountain Adaptive, we had to make the tough decision to suspend programming until further notice as the latest Covid wave continues to wash over the community. With the variant making itself known in our area, we knew keeping participants, staff and volunteers as safe as we had been able to prior to the variant was less likely and significantly more difficult. Our number one priority throughout all of this has been to keep everyone under the RMA umbrella as safe as we possibly can. As a team, we recognize that making these sacrifices now will enable us to look forward to a wonderful fun-filled summer.

And I may be biased, but I think our team of instructors, volunteers and participants have all done an incredible job of looking out for one another.

I am so very proud that we were able to run programming in a safe way for almost the entire duration of the ski season. I am proud that our instructors, volunteers, and participants geared up with a mask and/or a face shield, frequently used sanitizer and kept their distance.

I am proud that we have made it this far in these unprecedented times.


Against all odds, we’ve been able to run successful programming in the shadow of Covid. From brand new beginners joining our Try-It camps to long-term program participants and our high performance athletes, we’ve been able to accommodate anyone who’s wanted to access sport and recreation in the Canadian Rockies, offering close to 1000 participant experiences this winter alone.

In addition, we’ve had some awesome Alberta-based media coverage this season, including a video made by local videographer Jeff Bartlett for Travel Alberta in which our participant Lydia and her twin sister Veronica were featured (which you can watch here).

I think that while languishing is the common thread among many individuals, so is fortitude. While our world has changed drastically and a feeling of loss continues to haunt us all, we should also commend ourselves for making it this far — for trudging through the restrictions and guidelines, the ever-changing case-counts, the mask-wearing and the sanitizing. It hasn’t been easy. In fact, some days it’s felt impossible. And yet we are here, preparing to seize every opportunity to thrive this summer and to see others flourish alongside us.

And while ‘languish’ may be one word to describe 2021, I think it is important to also recognize how far we have come despite Covid-19. For it takes a lot of mental and emotional strength, even if we don’t recognize it as such, to make it through a pandemic.

So today, I salute you all for continuing on, for making it this far, and I offer a friendly reminder that, eventually, every roller coaster ride comes to an end.

Inspired by this Story?

If this story has inspired you to get involved in adaptive sports, we have a large range of accessible adventures available to you.

Join In the Fun

Want to join the fun and give back? Volunteering with Rocky Mountain Adaptive is a great way to support your community while assisting others.

Struggling with Mental Health?

If you are struggling with mental health, there are many great resources in the Bow Valley. Please do not hesitate to reach out.

Make a Difference

You can make a difference to the growth of adaptive sports by donating to the Clairey Lou Memorial Fund & Matthew Hamer Legacy Fund. Thank you.

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