Disability Is A State Of Mind

There was a time before the mass commercialisation of extreme sports on television when glamour was an unknown word. These activities were purely for self gratification. The most extreme sport I have ever participated in was abseiling down a rock face at the Penang Youth Park during my Scouting days. That was not exceptionally spine-tingling by today’s standards but was scary for me then no doubt, especially when I was halfway down and discovered that the glove for braking was not effective, having been worn smooth. Still, the exhilaration was worth the scare. I miss those days of adrenaline rushes.

Apparently, there are extreme wheelchair sports. The above e-poster was in my mailbox this morning. Extreme Chairing, as it is called, is an endurance sports of steering a powered wheelchair across a 40km trail over two days. This activity can be participated even by those with a high degree of paralysis, as long as they are able to ride on a power wheelchair independently.

These people are the craziest of the crazies. Paralysis and disability is not holding them down one bit. They have the courage and confidence to push themselves to the limit. Many without disabilities would have shirked this challenge. The risk of injury is manyfold more than it usually is. This is all for a good cause anyway and an avenue to pit mind and disabled bodies against nature. According to the website, 70% of the money raised will be channelled to the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. This foundation promotes spinal cord injury research.

A search with Google on extreme wheelchair sports yielded Xtreme Wheelchair Sports. This site provides brief insights into the various extreme sports that the physically disabled are able to partake in. The possibilities are endless. It is a big world out there. I only realised how closeted I have been all these while. What I have achieved is nowhere near what they have accomplished. It is time to re-evaluate what I can do again and perhaps set the bar a little higher. Those people have proven that disability is a state of mind. There is nothing that cannot be realised by simply changing the mindset and going for it. Check those sites out and be inspired!

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

5 thoughts on “Disability Is A State Of Mind”

  1. wow! i AM inspired and awed indeed! and to think us so called able-bodied people would grumble and groan at the thought of moving our butt out just for a jog.

    syabas to those crazies on wheelchairs!

  2. lucia,
    These people have only one thing in their minds – to excel and achieve what they have set out to do. There is a lot we can learn from their tenacity.

    Why not? Are you going to get a sponsor for my powered wheelchair?

  3. dave,
    While you are at it, plase ask around for a sponsor for the air ticket to Illinois where the event is going to be held. Thank you.

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