Looking for Adventure?
When one hears about a friend or acquaintance going skydiving, bungee jumping, racing, white water rafting, etc., the news is usually followed by one of two reactions: “That sounds amazing. I would LOVE to do something like that” or “Wow that is terrifying. I could NEVER do something like that.” So which person are you?
For people with disabilities, hearing about someone partake in one of the adventures above, might invoke a different reaction: “I didn’t know I COULD do that.”
There are so many wonderful stories about adrenaline adventures involving people with disabilities. You may remember the young woman who went bungee jumping in her wheelchair in British Columbia last year. According to CBS News, Christi Rougoor loved racing her dirt bike and after a motocross accident left her in a wheelchair, she was searching “for that rush to replace what I have lost.” While the reasoning may not be the same for all, most people who choose these types of adventures, are indeed looking for a rush.
Recently Kyle Maynard made the news. Kyle is a 25-year-old congenital amputee with a mission to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Kyle was born without arms or legs, but for him that was never a barrier. The expedition aims to “demonstrate to young people with disabilities that no obstacle is too great to be conquered with an active, no-barriers lifestyle and mindset,” says the Mission Kilimanjaro website. Despite all of his accomplishments and adventures, climbing to the 19,341 ft. summit of Mt.Kilimanjaro will be Kyle’s toughest test yet.
And then there is motocross racer Ashley Fiolek, who has brought a lot of attention to the sport as a deaf athlete. Ashley explains that being deaf can be both positive and negative in this sport. Because she cannot hear when racers are on her tail, she does not feel the same pressure as other racers. However, she has to be very careful to hold her lines when racing since she cannot hear other riders passing.
Pretty cool individuals. Maybe you’re reading this article and saying “okay, I’m ready, sign me up.” If so, let us introduce you to the company that has made many adrenaline adventures possible: Canadian-based 9Lives Adventures. The founders, Karim Ladki and Matt Thola, both suffered from C7 spinal cord injuries and bonded over their love of adventure and their thrill-seeking spirits. The result? A company that specializes in tandem skydiving, bungee jumping, wheelchair skateboarding, jet boating, and sit skiing.
So if you’ve got the adrenaline bug, get to it! Jump out of a plane, climb a mountain, go jet boating. Nothing is stopping you.
Other organizations that promise to thrill: