Sand, Water and Wheelchairs

A man-pulled rickshaw in Kolkata Deutsch: Eine...

I have summer on the brain; I grew up in and around water, there was a time when I was a part of a part of an adaptive synchronized swim team. But the challenge of summer is sand.

Sand and wheelchairs don’t mix the sand quickly gets you stuck and at times makes it feel like more work than it is worth to enjoy a day at the beach. I know people who have beach chairs but I actually had an old one of my wheelchairs adapted into a rickshaw. They made it so that the tubing that formed the rickshaw could be removed and thus you maintained normal wheelchair function. Having the rickshaw means that I could go over rigid train. I am not going to lie I have to be trusting of the people helping me as the movement of the rickshaw is 100% out of my control.

I like sand in a sense as a kid I was always either playing in the sand or in the water. water is freeing to my body it allows me for a few moments to forget that my movements are compromised by cerebral palsy

Using the wheelchair as a rickshaw allows the larger wheelchair wheels to lead and thus generally not dig into to the sand. I’m glad to have the rickshaw as it opened doors to activities that were otherwise becoming physically out of my reach. Having the rickshaw allows me the ability to get to that water again this was something I feared as it got physically harder

I hope you enjoyed this article – whether you agree with everything or not, send me your comments. opinions, suggestions and experiences – your input is very welcomed and much appreciated!

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About lifeofthedifferentlyabled

Laura Forde founded her blog through my eyes: my life with cerebral palsy in December 2009 out of a great need she had, realizing that there was a vast gap in firsthand accounts of what life was like living with Cerebral Palsy: she knew then that the only way to see this reflected online was to create the change herself and thus this blog was born Laura was born four months premature, weighing a mere one pound three ounces and given ten percent odds for survival. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three. After graduating from college, she continued writing and doing what she loves to do most; speaking to groups about her life experiences and sharing what she has learned from her journey. Her blog lifeofthedifferentlyabled was created after discovering that the online community lacked the voice of people in her situation. In its first year, the site saw over 20,000 hits from all over the world. Her readers are from all walks of life; some with disabilities, parents of children, professionals, and others who seek to gain a better understanding of the world of the differently abled. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook


Sand, Water and Wheelchairs — 1 Comment

  1. I love summer and swimming too! I can actually stand up and walk and jump around in water, things that I never do on land. Your story about the rickshaw is interesting, cool that it allowed you to have experiences which you wouldn’t otherwise. That actually reminds me of a time when my family and I were travelling in Mexico, we took a tour by boat of a small community close to Mexico City. Anyway, to get down to the water there were about 50 steep stairs and I thought I was not going to be able to go down. But I talked to some of the guys who worked there (in Spanish) and they said they had a solution. They took my wheelchair inside the little house where they sold the tickets for the tour and this one guy lifted me onto a kitchen chair. Then 3 (pretty strong guys) proceeded to carry be down to the water on the kitchen chair! As I said the stairs were steep and I was scared but the guys talked to me the whole time and the first time around I thought at least if I was going to die I would die happy with the attention of three strong handsome men who seemed to love me for speaking Spanish LOL! Down on the water I got to interpret the tour guide for my family and then the three guys carried me back up on the kitchen chair. It was the ultimate trust game!

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