There's not much snow around at this moment, but just a few weeks ago, sledding hills were packed with kids flying down a hill on any manner of sleds.
But it doesn't take much to turn a fun day of sledding into a paralyzing accident. A truth that a Plymouth teen came inches away from discovering.
Shaina Rasmussen knew something was wrong as soon as she began the downhill slide.
An elite high school athlete, Shaina Rasmussen, is used to running circles around the competition, "I run a mile in like, 5:30."
But these days a simple walk is an uphill battle.
"Taking a half hour to walk a hundred feet is kinda, it's hard," says Shaina.
It's only been six days since Shaina's life took this dramatic turn. She was in a freak sliding accident, one actually caught on tape. The tape is disturbing to watch. It shows Shaina barreling down a hill on an inner tube and then hitting a speed bump that flips her up into the air and into a backward flip, but she never completes the flip and she slams into the snow, neck and back first.
"I've never been in more pain and it was just my back was spasming and stuff," said Shaina.
Being the tough athlete she is, Shania thought she'd just ride with friends to the hospital. She now knows that would've been a critical mistake. One more wrong movement and paramedics say she could have been paralyzed.
"They strapped me down just in case because I could've even fractured my neck at that point," explains Shaina of her trip to the hospital.
Shaina's diagnosis; five broken vertebrae and her prognosis is for a full recovery.
"I just thank God that I'm still, that I can actually walk. And I will at some point recover," says Shaina.
It'll be at least three months before Shaina can start sports again, but there won't be any downtime for her fiery spirit.
"I'm so competitive, like I have to win."
A spirit she'll need as she takes her slow, steady walk toward recovery.
Shaina's family is grateful to the Good Samaritan who insisted she stay at the park until an ambulance arrived. They don't know who that person is, but that person may have prevented her from being paralyzed by insisting on calling 911.
By Amy Hockert, KARE 11 News
By Boyd Huppert, KARE 11 News
(Copyright 2006 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)