You see it all the time; people with paralysis doing things so crazy that it gets them on the news. Whether they’re flying themselves down a megaramp like Aaron Fotheringham or flying halfway across the world in an ultralight plane like Dave Sykes, people with paralysis tend to do things a bit on the crazy side.
In my humble opinion after all of the years I have spent being paralyzed I have figured it out – we tend to get a bit stir crazy. Sadly this is a reality of living with paralysis. When you’re sitting all the time or worse, all you want to do is break free. One of the easiest ways to feel free again is a good old-fashioned adrenaline rush.
Remember Christine Rougoor from Canada who a couple of years ago went bungee jumping in her wheelchair? She is a perfect example of this overwhelming need we experience when living with a spinal cord injury. The human brain is not meant to be connected to a body with a damaged spinal cord. We’re constantly trying to figure out ways to get that need met.
When Christine jumped she made news all over the world. No one expected a girl with paralysis to do something so ballsy. She literally threw herself off a bridge while still in her wheelchair! And the smile on her face afterwards…priceless. What I love is how she had no fear; none. For many we figure hey – what do we got to lose?
I do believe the longer you’re paralyzed, the more you’ll end up feeling an overwhelming need to tap into your adrenaline reserves. It helps you feel alive when residing in a body you can’t feel or move normally anymore. Bungee jumping and skydiving are two of the big “crazy” sports we like to do. Some even do wheelchair stunts, aka “extreme chairing,” the WCMX trend that is growing every year.
Show up at a skate park nowdays and chances are you’ll see a young wheelchair-user throwing themselves down a skateboard ramp like a badass. So many of us feel this kind of need, and with YouTube and the Internet now days, it’s growing quick. The same goes for wheelchair sports. From wheelchair lacrosse to wheelchair dancing, so many fast-paced and fun adapted sports are coming out of the woodwork. Adrenaline can be tapped, oh yes, in many different ways.
I know for me personally, if I don’t get out to a concert to yell & dance right next to the stage (my adrenaline rush), my wheelchair starts to get on my nerves more than usual. We just really need to be aware of our needs.
Every wheelchair-user should learn to tap into their adrenaline and listen to their body when they’re feeling like they need to experience a little bit of a “freeness.” Maybe it’s just getting our blood moving again with exercise or maybe it’s something huge, like taking part in a wheelchair marathon.
Whatever it is, people in wheelchairs are now becoming aware of what they truly need to feel alive, and it’s an awesome thing.
How do you get your adrenaline rush?