New Year, time for change… 

Now that we have rung in this New Year and flipped a digit to enter this new era, we need more. We should desire something to stand out from the crowd, as it is too easy to vanish into obscurity if we do not grow. No challenge should define us as it is simply a blip on our timeline and does not tell the world who we are. Every year, we should grab the tree of life and vigorously shake it with all the strength we can muster. So if you have a lot of power, shake, rattle, and roll until the branches crack like a tree in a tornado. On the other hand, if you have less vitality, vigorously shake the leaves and roar to the world I am here. We must not merely survive this game called life, but thrive like a cactus in the scorching desert sun.

Considering your limits is the key to finding the new thing that will change your outlook on life. You should stretch slightly past your comfort zone to prove that you can do more. Find something you have never done or are not particularly good at, as studies show, this builds your brain. Search out your neighborhood community center and look into taking some classes involving art or cooking. If it is age appropriate, find a senior center, check the schedule, and make new and possibly lifelong friends. There are plenty of events for the low and even mid-speed MSers if you will pinpoint and participate.

For those looking for high-octane options, there are a plethora of them from which to choose. Adaptive sports have become a massive industry, as no one enjoys being excluded because of their life’s limitations. We have come so far in technology that what was once impossible is now conceivable. Great minds have gotten together and figured out how to make things work correctly, specifically for the disabled. We have all heard the phrase; there is an app for that. We can now say there is an adaptation for that and be proud of how far we have come.

Adaptive sports include things such as surfing, kayaking, skiing, skydiving, and the list goes on and on. You can ride a bike with a handcycle regardless of your talent level and abilities. If you have the required skills, you can even go whitewater kayaking. If you are willing, it is not out of the question to snow ski in Colorado with the best of the best. Your willingness to act limits you only and what the imagination can create for these sports.

I have always said: do not tell me I cannot do something because, with time and effort, I will find a way to make it happen. My friend challenged me to do a 5K in my wheelchair, and even though others doubted I would complete it, I was the first wheelchair to cross the finish line. Some said that I could not do two and a half miles of swimming, yet I blew that challenge out of the water and swam eight grueling miles. There may be obstacles in your path, but you decide to allow them to stop you. The question becomes, how badly do you want it, and how much are you willing to sacrifice to accomplish the goal? So get off the couch and pick up your feet, cane, crutches, get behind your walker, or even sit in your wheelchair and do something new for the New Year.

Let no difficulty stop you from achieving your goals, disabled or not. 

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