I have come across two recent examples of how handicapped individuals are participating in extreme sports. They are inspiring stories and just goes to show us all that no door should be closed to anyone.
Learning to scuba dive has given Michael Cunnane a new lease of life.Michael is deaf and so has a head start when it comes to making himself understood in the deep.To get this far, however, Michael has had to overcome difficulties with communication.He has been teaching members of the BSAC North diving group in Gloucester, England a basic sign language so they can communicate with him underwater and teach him the new skill. “I’m excited just to think that there are so many big fish to see and old underwater wrecks to explore all over the world in my lifetime.”
Way to go Michael and now read on to hear what Jeremy Schmidt has had to contend with after he went blind at the age of 27. About a year ago, a rare genetic disease deteriorated his optic nerves, keeping his eyes healthy but killing the connection to his brain. In less than a month, he went from having 20/20 vision to not being able to spot an eye chart in a doctor’s office.
Jeremy was not going to give up and with a little encouragement from his father he donned his boots and ruck sack and in his right hand he had something other hikers don’t: a red-and-white cane with a rolling ball at the tip. Continuously swinging his arm left and right, he knocks the cane into rocks, plants, and boulders, helping him ‘feel’ his way forward.Since Jeremy went blind, he has continued to go horseback riding, skiing and rock climbing.
“I didn’t think my whole life was over,” Jeremy said. “Not by far. It just meant it was going to be one heck of a challenge.”
This is the kind of spirit i have so much respect for, it is extreme and it is inspirational – the impossible does not exist.