What were your highlights in 2015?
What are you looking forward to over the next 12 months? Apart from the Puffin Magic Circus Ball on 19 March!!!
As individuals and as a society we are in constant flux between reflecting and learning from the past and planning and prophecising about the future.
For me, facing my fear of sit skiing, stand-up fly fishing, joining the management committee of an incredible new resort for spinal cord injured individuals, called Sargood, and the growing success and impact of Empower Golf were standouts of the last 6 months. Understanding that one must be conscious of “stopping something old” to “start something new”, will be key to a successful year ahead.
As always, wheelchair shenanigans played their part in the latest adventures.
Here is one way to manoeuvre on and off a fishing boat…
Here is the newest use for the ParaGolfer…
Fly casting is sooo much easier when you’re standing!
Here’s what a “wheelchair accessible cabin” looks like in some people’s view – notice the recently installed wooden planks ensuring the ‘access’.
Luckily I have some seriously dedicated and sizable mates!
These somewhat ridiculous, and at times downright dangerous situations, consistently force one out of their comfort zone and enrich the rollercoaster of life we are all on – even if they can be frustrating at the time.
Nothing quite represented pushing the envelope like my first attempt at skiing, post-accident, as part of Return2Sport’s ski camp at Thredbo in Australia. I was extremely fortunate to gain a place on this heavily subsidised event through The Royal Rehabilitation Foundation.
I have always blamed a high centre of gravity for my near-perfect record of returning from every skiing trip with either a broken bone or stitches of some description. With this in mind, I was particularly hesitant about returning to the slopes as a quadriplegic, even though I would be strapped firmly into a sit-ski less than 3 foot off the ground.
I am constantly blown away by the lengths the human race has reached to return to sport and activity after catastrophic injury. These sit skis were probably the most unbelievable example I’ve seen to date – perfectly balanced engineering works of art.
Although I wasn’t quite 100% independent on the slopes, any remnants of apprehension were quickly replaced with unbridled exhilaration and experience which will surely be relived with a grandchild on my knee sometime in the future. This video and below photo will give you an idea of how things went down! – link
Work-wise, Empower Golf continues to change people’s lives through golf and its contribution to the development and enhancement of the profile and infrastructure of disabled golf at home and abroad grows daily. Here is the latest coverage on Australian television.
I sincerely hope your 2016 is full of adventure, laughter, good health and diversity.
Hopefully, see you at the Puffin Circus Ball!