Written by hearOclub member Ashley McGoey

Winter is upon us, and for me, living in Wisconsin means we get so much snow! It usually comes in November and stays until March. Unfortunately for me, I do not love the snow so by the end of January I am over it. However, my disdain for snow doesn’t mean I didn’t spend all my childhood winters playing in it! I loved sledding, building snow forts and snowmen, making snow angels, and warming up with hot cocoa afterwards inside. Having hearing aids did not hold me back from those activities and I generally didn’t worry about them being damaged outside since I always had a hat on to cover my ears and keep them warm. I am happy to report that my hearing aids have always been durable enough to withstand the coldest Wisconsin winters and I have never had an incident of losing them in the snow. With that being said, I have never tried skiing or snowboarding or other winter sports that involve gliding down hills at fast speeds. Therefore, any tumbles I ever took in the snow were minor since they were from sledding down hills in the neighborhood, not the Black Diamond slopes. If I ever do try skiing though, I will make sure my hat is tight enough so that if I do wipe out, I won’t risk my hearing aids being engulfed in the snow!

One winter activity I have somewhat taken up is running. If it were up to me, I would run outside in warm weather all year round (maybe someday I will move somewhere warmer!). Yes, the treadmill inside works just fine, and I do use it when it’s dark and too late for me to run outside. In my opinion, the treadmill really sucks when you start running upwards of 7 miles because it’s just so boring! I love running outside in nature because it is much more peaceful that the hustle and bustle of the gym. A couple of weeks ago, I crossed paths with a deer during my run. I was in awe as I slowed down to watch the deer trot across the path, and that would have never happened on the treadmill.

a deer that hearing aid user Ashley saw while running

I must admit, I’m a bit new to competitive running, and I am VERY new to winter running. My cold weather gear is working for me so far with my leggings, layered up sweatshirts, gloves, and headband… soon though, I will need to invest in some Yaktracks or shoes that will give me better traction on the snow and ice so I don’t spend my long runs slipping and falling. One thing I already figured out is what to do with my hearing aids since listening to music while I run is a necessity. I got a belt for running that I can put my keys and my hearing aids in. This gives me the security of knowing I have my hearing aids in case something happens, and I need to be able to hear. I also love that my keys fit in the belt, along with my hearOclub keychain, so if I get double whammy’d with needing my hearing aids AND the batteries are dead, I have a backup. Most of my runs are uneventful, but there was one time I was trying to run around a lake that I thought was only 12 miles around. Turns out, it was a lot more than 12 miles. I had to stop three quarters of the way around because I really felt like I couldn’t go on. Plus, the sun was setting, and I don’t feel comfortable running in the dark. I was very grateful to have my hearing aids on me so I could call my boyfriend and ask him to pick me up!

hearoclub member Ashley and her boyfriend after a race

Even though I’m not a big fan of the cold and the snow, winter is the holiday season and I do enjoy that part of it. I love spending time with my family, giving gifts, and decorating the house for Christmas. It is a time to reflect and be grateful. I am extremely thankful for my family’s love and support while I navigated life with my hearing loss. I am also thankful for the ever-evolving technology that helps me hear better and better every day, as well as hearOclub’s battery subscription service so that I never find myself unable to hear due to dead batteries. Lastly, I’m thankful that my disability has allowed me to connect with so many amazing people since I started sharing my experiences with the world. Lots of love to you all and happy holidays!

Check out Ashley’s blog: https://canyouhearmenow.home.blog/

Learn more about hearOclub, the hearing aid battery subscription service here: https://www.hearoclub.com/how-it-works/