I want to explore additional outdoor activities for the disabled. Many of us feel confined and we don’t feel a sense of value; truly this is the opposite. All of us are “value-able” and we have capabilities. We just don’t know where to turn or may not have the opportunity. I realize that many of you don’t have the resources. I am an advocate for promoting that the disabled can and should be allowed to explore outdoor sports and recreation. It is vital to a better quality of life and self worth.
Many opportunities have opened up over last 15 years:
Many cities and states have special Olympics for the physical and mentally challenged. These are free. Many care givers, group homes, and centers for the disabled are participates in these Olympics. Here is a great site, New Horizons Un-Limited.
Last week I purchased a Townie crank forward 7-speed bicycle, which I found much easier to ride than my mountain bike. The concept is that the crank (pedals) are positioned about 6 to 8 inches more forward than a traditional bike. They are much easier to pedal for people with ankle, feet, and leg problems. On top of that, they are light weight-about 25 pounds, and they have a big seat for comfort. These bikes are made by Electra. You’ll never ride another bike again. They are available in men’s or women’s and offer different tire sizes.
Some bikes can be adapted for your type of disability. I really have enjoyed this since I took it up and have many future rides planned. I can ride a bike for several miles when I could not walk the distance. It is a great sense of freedom and good source of enjoyable exercise. Please explore Outdoor Sport & Leisure; it covers cycling and the different bikes that are available. It also has articles about horse back riding for the disabled and the therapeutic benefits of riding horses. It also covers fishing, which I discussed in my previous article, Recreation for the Disabled. Also there are links to other types of sports. There are many outdoor sporting activities available that didn’t use to exist. This has been brought about by the increased number of people with disabilities.
There is so much out there just waiting for us. I am so excited about it. I hope that you find something you feel that you would like to try. Remember we have limitations but if we choose to do it something we can do it. We are people with abilities, not disabilities. Please check with your health care provider before you start.
What outdoor activities do you participate in?