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Inspiration on the trails - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Inspiration on the trails

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In Bread Loaf, 12 miles East of Middlebury, cross-country skiers of all abilities took advantage of warm weather and good snow this Winter Trails Day.

"We open up the center, free skiing lessons, rentals, the whole deal," said Michael Hussey, Director of the Rikert Nordic Center.

"My goal is not to fall down too much today that's about it," said Jacob Lavigne.

Lavigne was one of hundreds experiencing cross country skiing for the first time Saturday. But unlike most, he's doing so without the use of his legs.

"I'm not going to hit any top speeds that's for sure but I'm just prepared to have fun and get outside," Lavigne said.

Channel 3 viewers were first introduced to Jacob while covering a sled-hockey event. The soon-to-be 17-year-old had grown to love the sport since losing the use of his legs in a 2008 mountain biking accident. "For the first year I didn't do much, kinda you know, just sat around," Lavigne said.

Now he's branching out. He said the seat feels similar, but he's expecting even more of a workout than he gets on the ice. "Should be the same about turning but, I guess we'll see," he said.

"It's just so encouraging to see those folks out enjoying the winter," Hussey said.

Those who run the Rikert Nordic Center said the adaptive skiers are an inspiration to their able-bodied colleagues.

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