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Sunday, 31 July 2016

Choosing a parasport

Now that I've been more active, getting out as part of the Make Your Move challenge, I feel drawn to try some other sports. I've never been big on team sports, so let's start by ruling those out. If I hated them playing the regular way, chances are I'll still not like them playing in a chair. So, this week, I've been trying to find some different sports to have a go at...

Wheelchair racing

This is what I want to look like...

Paraolympic wheelchair racing

Maybe that's one of the reasons I love my freewheel so much - it makes my wheelchair look like a racing chair. But it's still broken. Good news though! They are going to repair it, so I've sent it back and I'm hoping and praying that it returns very soon. When it does, I'm tempted to pop over to the Costello Stadium in Hull and get out on a proper track. I could do some timed exercises and see what sort of distance suits me best. 

Of course, if I ever decided to take it up as a serious sport, I'd need somewhere nearer to train and a proper racing chair, but given that it's a summer sport, that's unlikely.


We get gym membership as part of our corporate leisure centre deal. I've given it a try a couple of times but I could do with some proper coaching to help me know which exercises to focus on. The good thing is that it's indoors and most of the machines have built in fans, and the building has air cooling. The downside is that it isn't very wheelchair friendly and I feel quite self-conscious because I can't do very much.

Table tennis

Yesterday afternoon, Neil and I went to the leisure centre and played table tennis together for an hour. I really love this. It's an ideal sport for playing as a hybrid pair - one able bodied and one in a wheelchair - and I can play well enough to keep the ball going back and forth. We decided yesterday that when I get my assistance dog, one of the first things I need to teach it as an extra, is how to retrieve a delicate ping pong ball. It's hard work, trying to pick it up off the floor in a chair, though I did improve my technique. 

The downside of table tennis, is that our membership only gives us free play during the day, so we can only really play at weekends. Even then, it depends who is on the front desk - some will give us table tennis for free because it's on a badminton court (which is a perk of the membership deal) but others say it isn't mentioned specifically and therefore is charged.


I love swimming and would happily do this most days but the pool only has lanes from 7:00 - 8:00 in the morning. The rest of the time, it is a free-for-all and often quite busy. Plus, there's only one accessible changing room, so we try to go when we know nobody else will be needing it. I did once have to stand/sit outside for 20 minutes, waiting for another person to get changed. When my legs gave out, and I could stand no more, I sat in my chair but my bum was wet and that made my seat wet and it just wasn't nice. 

Having said that, we are going swimming this evening, so we'll see if it's a bit quieter for the last hour on a Sunday. 


Having had my first lesson at ChilFactore, and loved it, I have now found out that Xscape have reintroduced adaptive skiing. This is the best news ever! ChilFactore is just too far but Xscape is just down the road. So, I have a lesson booked this week. I will be learning in one of these...

Sit-skiing in a bi-unique

I like the idea of a biski, where you sit on two skis but the teacher there eventually has ideas of getting me on a monoski, where the seat is on one ski. At first, I really didn't want to consider this but when I think about it, it can't be so very different, so I could give it a go. For now though, I will be biskiing. 

At my last lesson, the teacher held on to me at the back with a bar but this week, I'm going to be tethered. The main difference is that now, I'll have to get the turns right by myself. The teacher assures me that we will start part-way up the slope (not right at the top) so that I can get the technique right. Who knows though, I might make it to the top by the end of the lesson.

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