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Thread: Share your active escape...Please!

  1. #1
    Senior Member SurfCat's Avatar
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    Share your active escape...Please!

    As an ex-surfer I'm used to spending every minute away from work, study, or family in the water. In every way: mentally, spiritually, and physically this was my escape. I'm now without my escape and on long, sunny day in Southern California Saturdays, it hurts. I have a C 5/6 injury and am looking for a way out...out of my head and its never-ending thoughts, out of my house, and out of focusing on the chronic pain that along with paralysis, rules my lower body.

    So what I'm asking is for suggestions from other similar injured on what you do for adventure. Where do some of you fallen motorcyclists, stuntmen, and race car drivers go for thrills? What do you still competitive ballers, tri- athletes and high school glory days jocks do to fight off boredom?

    I don't really have any tricep or hand function to speak of, but what I do have is the same desire that kept me in the water and on the court every free moment (and many not free!) I had.

    GOD BLESS

  2. #2
    Surfcat - I hear you and have empathy for your current status...I think many will share your similar thoughts. While it is not the same, I know several persons living with SCI who have gotten involved with wheelchair sports, returned to a pool for exercise and re-learning to swim. They have, over time, learned to adjust to finding excitement and challenge in quad rugby, overcoming the fear of being face down in the water and being able to swim once again, getting knocked around in wheelchair basketball, beating a wheelchair tennis opponent. I think, as I have watched some of these activities, one learns new skills and yes, the pace is different than you knew prior to your injury.

    There are several support groups in Southern Calif as well as rehab facilities. I would urge you to contact one of these to learn what options there may be in your area for therapeutic recreation. If you still have a relationship with your rehab facility, seek out the therapeutic rec therapist to explore this.

    There is a summer program in Rhode Island, Shake-a-Leg, whose emphasis is leisure and recreational activities. The program is 5 weeks in length, there are scholarships available, PT, OT and attendant care available; there is a sailing and kayaking component with the program. Several of my former patients ranging from C4/5 to T4/5 have attended and found it to be a great experience.

    Some resources for you:
    1) http://www.shakealeg.org/
    2) http://members.tripod.com/~www_pages/sal.htm (accessible sailing)
    3) www.ncpad.org
    4) Sports and Spokes magazine (wheelchair sports) http://209.41.172.66/sns/

    I hope this may offer helpful information. CRF

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    Surfcat,
    Most of us can empathize with you.,If you still have friends to help and a desire to see what you can do withwhat's left it's a start. I'm an inlander,no surf in Wy., but was an avid hunter, fisherman, loved trying to get jeeps stuck and snowmobiling.I'm C-7 so have triceps wrists and a few fingers that work a little, but I never thought I could do anything at first, a real crybaby, but soon learned to hunt elk, deer antelope from a jeep, fish from a boat, even stream fish with helpers and even got back onto a snowmobile, though nothing fancy.All the advice I can give is to try it with help and see what you can do. I got on a tube and got pulled around by a boat ,sorta surfing,(don't forget the life jacket.) you could probably even do some swimming. You'll always yearn for the muscles that did whatever you asked of them, but you can still get some thrills and for a few precious moments try to get a big trout to the boat with a fly rodand for a little while forget the bad hand life dealt you.WR

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    I'm not a quad, but in my town we have a group of people that get together and go water skiing. It's a blast, I'm so addicted. There are some quads that do it too. There is a connector on the front of the ski so that quads wouldn't have to hold on, you're attached. You can go really fast and it will get you back in the water. I found this group through Easter Seals, so you might want to call them or a rehab center near you for information on sports.
    Hope that helps,
    Roley

  5. #5
    scuba
    kayak

    have fun

  6. #6
    Senior Member SurfCat's Avatar
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    Thanks for the ideas everyone.

    Are their any C5-6 or higher guys or girls that play everyday sports such as tennis, ping-pong, pool or rugby/football?

    If so, I would like to hear of your experience...frustrations and successes.

    Thanks and GOD BLESS

  7. #7
    Hi Surfcat,

    My adult daughter was a competitive athlete in the Equestrian sport of 3-day eventing (same sport as Christopher Reeve was injured in) before she was injured in September, 2001. It was her life, love, and career.

    About 8 months ago, she was given the go-ahead to get back on a horse. It was disappointing. It took all her strength to stay on the horse, and of course her legs did not work the way they used to, so she had to compromise.

    Because she liked the competitive side of riding, she made a goal to try the Paralympic riding. She reached her goal, and represented Canada at the International Paralympic Equestrian Championships in Portugal in September. She hopes to ride at the World Championships in Belgium this year.

    This is not the goal she originally set for herself years ago, but for the moment, it will do. It is top-level competition at this level and inspirational for her to watch some of these amazing competitors.

    Can you find out if there are surfers out there who have somehow adapted their boards to be able to surf with a sci? It will not be the same, but definitely a challenge that hopefully would bring you satisfaction. Good Luck. I hope you find something.

    Darlene

  8. #8
    Are you interested in swimming? There are many opportunities for this.

    How about sailing? Where in So Cal are you? This is a sailing program that I have worked with as a volunteer.
    http://www.aimssailing.org/
    We have high quads including those on vents in the program, so nobody's injury is too high for this sport. As an AB sailor, I enjoy working in this program, and we have some very fun races and regattas. We are preparing our large boat (40 ft. Tripp sloop) to race in the Transpac this year with a disabled crew.

    Other than water sports, have you considered quad rugby? At your level you should be able to play, and this sport is about as competitive and active as you could ask for. It was not originally called "murder ball" for nothing!!!
    http://www.quadrugby.com/

    If you are closer to LA or the Inland Empire than to San Diego, I would suggest getting in touch with the excellent recreation program at Casa Colina Rehabilitation Center in Pomona. They sponsor all sorts of activities.
    http://www.casacolina.org/

    (KLD)

  9. #9
    Senior Member SurfCat's Avatar
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    Thanks again for the ideas and Web sites KLD. I already gotten in touch with someone from a local rugby team.

    I'M hesitant to try something like this because I know there will be disappointment, but I think the upside potential is worth it.

  10. #10
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    http://www.hsascuba.com/

    WHO ARE WE? The HSA was founded in 1981 by Jim Gatacre and is now the world's leading authority on recreational diving for people with disabilities. Headquartered in California, HSA INTERNATIONAL extends its underwater educational programs worldwide. The HSA is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and donations made to us are gratefully accepted and tax deductible.

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