A Sense of Community: How Skiing Makes Regis’ DPT Class of 2024 Even Stronger

Written by: Vito Cancila

Denver’s proximity to the mountains was a big factor in ultimately selecting the physical therapy school I wanted to attend. It is a dream for hikers, climbers, and bikers, but most importantly to me: skiing and snowboarding. I grew up with every family vacation going to some resort, learning to ski, exploring new terrain and continuing to push my limits. It became a fiber of who I am and created a longing to return to the mountains for a kid growing up in the Midwest. So, when I had the opportunity to join Regis University’s DPT program, it was a no brainer for me.  

Luckily for me, nearly half of my classmates had similar experiences. The first few snows of the year in our first semester set our class ablaze with smiles and excitement knowing what would follow for the next few months. We all got our season passes and our gear together. The first day that the resorts opened, we were there! Exploring Eldora and falling in love with Copper and Winter Park. Not long after that, we began planning trips to mountain farther than a day trip. We made multiple trips to Steamboat during that first winter.  

Most recently, we just finished up our 3-mountain adventure in Salt Lake City. Twenty-four of us in one very large AirBnB, waking up at the break of dawn, making our sandwich lines, and hopping in the car for our short ride over. We were blessed with fresh snow and powder runs, some bluebird hours and some snowy hours. As grad school nerds, we returned from our long days and practiced recently mastered skills on all our ouches and injuries. Hearts left full, not just because of how incredible our runs and experiences on the mountain were but because it continued to bind our class and our friendships together in our shared love of adventure. We continue to have ski group chats, talking conditions, gear, and planning our next trips.  

 Education is top priority, but Regis also emphasizes the importance of building lasting relationships with our classmates. These relationships have gone beyond the classroom, and allowed us to build connections in other aspects of our lives. We as a class have struggled together and celebrated together as we move through the trials of learning and growth both in and out of the classroom. The relationships we have built create a beautiful kinship that allows us to wield a powerful force for change in the world. 

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