Adaptive sports have become very popular. We have come so far in technology that what was once impossible is now possible. Great minds have gotten together and figured out how to make things work correctly specifically for the disabled. We have all heard the line “there’s an app for that.” Now it seems that we can say “there is an adaptation for that.”
Adaptive sports include things such as surfing, kayaking, skiing, skydiving and more. It was explained to me that no matter your talent level and abilities you can ride a bike with a handcycle. Not only can you kayak but if you have the needed skills, you can whitewater kayak. If you are willing, it is not out of the question to snow ski in Colorado with the best of the best. For all of these sports, you are limited only by your willingness to act and what the imagination can create.
I was told about adaptive sports several months ago. Then I recently put two and two together and realized that I am bored, lonely and shy. My shyness causes me to mess up every time that I have met single women. A great way to hopefully change that is to put myself in a situation that does not allow me to be introverted. These environments, where I need to depend on others, encourage me to communicate and interact with other people present. They force me to step outside of my comfort zone and enjoy the companionship of others.
In my research on adaptive sports, I found that a person can travel all over the world to indulge in these athletic challenges. Every country seems to have their famous place to kayak, ski, or even bike ride. However, I will stay close to home as I do not have the “travel the world money” that is needed nor do I want to travel alone.
I was not comfortable in the water when I began water class nearly four years ago. I felt unsure of myself and unstable until my latest instructor began to encourage me to do more little by little. I started by clinging to the pool wall like saran wrap. Now I swim laps with no flotation device, and I feel incredibly comfortable in the water. I still need a noodle when doing standing exercises as my legs are as sturdy as cooked spaghetti.
It is incredible how things are connected. I have talked before about “the knee bone is connected to the…” That song can be used to explain all aspects of life. My fear of the water when I started caused my trepidation when attempting anything new. I am now so comfortable in the water that I do not even think about “going under.” The few times that I have made mistakes, I did not panic and recovered with ease.
This evolution of my skills reminds me that “practice makes perfect.” So no matter if I am kayaking or hand cycling the more that I do it, the more comfortable that I will get. It seems so obvious because it is that simple.
I feel incredibly comfortable in the water my next step seems inevitable. My next logical move is to track down a place to learn to kayak. I did a lot of research including watching several videos on Youtube. Let me tell you that those wheelchair users do some spectacular things in a kayak especially in whitewater. The major obstacle that is currently in my way for this new stage of my life is transportation. There are no kayaking destinations that I know of where I can take COTA Mainstream. The other puzzling question is will they allow a kayak on the bus?
It does not make sense to buy any of the needed equipment yet. The significant cost will be the kayak itself as a decent kayak will cost nearly a grand or more. Then there are the mid-priced items like a helmet, life jacket, and the paddle. I am sure that I could find a cheap helmet and life jacket at many stores. However, these items will be protecting my life so I must spend wisely when it comes to these items. Lastly, I am sure that there are probably small ticket items that I do not know of yet.
I have always said: “do not tell me that I cannot do something.” With time and effort, I will find a way to make them happen. I was challenged to do a 5k in my wheelchair, and even though others doubted that I could, I succeeded. Some said that I could not do three miles of swimming yet I swam eight. There may be obstacles in your path, but you decide to allow them to stop you or not. The question becomes how badly do you want it? How much are you willing to sacrifice to accomplish the goal?
Do not let life limit you. Find the adaptations that will make you live better and make it happen.