Life is full of ups and downs, twists and turns. And I have been on my fair share of rollercoasters. Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at three days old, I rely on a motorised wheelchair and it has made me see the world differently. Society views the disabled community as vulnerable with some people seeing us as being a nuisance. Unfortunately, I started to believe these assumptions and started to live my life in a shell, scared to talk to anyone or push myself out of my comfort zone.
One of the enlightening moments of my life was on a residential camp for disabled and able-bodied children and young adults. ‘Action packed holidays for every ability’ There are so many memories I have of these residential camps, from mixing with different participants from different backgrounds to the activities. They showed me that no matter what my disability was I could join in on any activity and relive the experience.
My favourite most meaningful activity was abseiling. I was lifted out of my wheelchair and swung around onto the edge of a cliff. Of course, I was held by a harness with my helmet on but I was free of my wheelchair and restraints and had to rely solely on myself to propel down the cliff.
This was when I realised that my wheelchair wasn’t my restraint, it was my mind that was.