Takehisa or “Take” Matsuda became paralyzed from a spinal cord injury in 1997 and began a sedentary life for the next 20 years “confined” to a wheelchair. A year ago, after a few hours of outdoor exercise at a ski area, his life changed dramatically.
He was a typical workaholic with little time for exercise and fun. Day offs were spent resting for more work. When he did go on trips with his family, he prepared documents and that wasn’t much fun for anyone. One day, his wife and son wanted to go snowboarding and with reluctance Take agreed to go. He decided to take a mono-ski lesson at the adaptive ski school since they were traveling so far. This two hour lesson really pushed his physical limits. “It was killing me but felt so good,” he thought. When Take saw how happy his family was, he wanted to improve and be able to ski with them. He began taking ski lessons and training with Disabled Sports USA over the last winter. His rapid improvement in skiing dramatically improved his quality of life.
Physical improvements were first noticeable with increased muscle strength and mass. Exercise and fresh air reduced stress and he became sick less often. He decided to change jobs in order to spend more time with his family especially in outdoor activities. He made many new friends through skiing and has developed a desire to contribute to the sport. This better quality of life made him a healthier and happier person.
Monoski racing has greatly appealed to Take. His coaches noticed his potential and have encouraged his racing but in order to compete at a serious level, Take needed his own monoski. He applied for a GoHawkeye equipment grant to help make this happen.
Take wrote, ” I want to pursue my dream and become the best athlete in monoski. I believe your grant will improve my quality of life even more and it also helps me contribute to society through monoski experiences. I have a strong will to accomplish my dream and want to do my best.”
The GoHawkeye Foundation is proud to award Take a equipment grant to help purchase a DynAccess monoski to fulfill his ski racing dreams and to ski with his family. We applaud his efforts and his realization of how adaptive sports can improve the quality of life and effect positive change.
Welcome to the GoHawkeye team, Take!