Slip, sliding (and swimming) independently

Float like a rock? I don’t think so. People with paralysis can do some pretty magical things in the water, and the water can do some pretty awesome things to us as well.  But a lot of folks with spinal cord injuries really don’t like the water. And the biggest reason we’re scared – we can’t swim (or we think we can’t rather).

This is why you got to check out our H20 inspired videos below, including an amazing video of a C6 quadriplegic who’s learned how to swim completely on her own (and with none of those silly floaties that always get in the way and always poke you in the face).

Our first video is pretty much the fantasy I have in the dead of winter each year – a tropical paradise where no one gives a sniff about litigation. Meaning – they’ll let quadriplegics go on their waterslides. This is the awesome opportunity that Chris Colwell, a C5-6 quad (and active member of SPINALpedia (who’s made 600 plus videos) took advantage of while living the high life in Dubai.

The world famous Atlantis Resort has a location there, and they have a huge water park called ‘Aquaventure,’ which includes a super fun rapids ride. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Briana Walker

Model, hip-hop dancer, motivational speaker and author, Briana Walker is a bright and fun California girl who did something amazing – she got head deep in the world of modeling only a year after her injury.

When she was 23, her entire world changed after she fainted while behind the wheel (becoming a T11-12 paraplegic as a result), but within a year she had found her niche in disabled modeling, and made the cover of Mobility Management Magazine.

And Briana has gone on to much bigger modeling gigs since. Whether you know her from the commercials, seen her dance at the Abilities Expo or maybe she came to your school to speak, here’s the back story on Briana Walker, the fierce platinum blonde who’s trademark attitude – enduring till the end – has made her beloved by people all around the globe. Read this entry

Make it burn (oh yeahhh)

Bally’s, the YMCA, Lifetime Fitness, getting a good workout if you have a spinal cord injury isn’t always the easiest thing. Sure, when you first get injured you get access to a physical therapy gym, but once you’re discharged, where then?

This has always then a pickle for spinal cord injured people. Watch these videos showing how you can still get a great workout, whether at home or by using simple modifications on machines at the standard gym.

In the first video, we’re sharing what is possibly one of the BEST exercise machines to be developed for wheelchair-users (and has been getting quite the buzz) – the Wheeler’s Paramill.

Sure, it costs a cool $4 k, but it can transform your exercise experience if pushing your chair long distances is how you get cardio. And it’s been making the rounds at the Abilities Expo this year (a great place to try it out). Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Rep. Jim Langevin

Zooming the halls of the U.S. Congress on his back wheels (thanks to his iBot wheelchair) is the first quadriplegic to win a seat in the U.S. Congress – Rep. Jim Langevin. This amazing man has been representing his beloved state of Rhode Island since 2001, a state he’s from and has been supporting his entire life.

A democrat, one of the most well known bachelors in Congress and a fervent supporter of disability rights, Rep. Jim Langevin is one cool dude. Oh, and he has a thing for Ben Affleck movies too. Read this entry

Stop hatin’ on Lady Gaga’s gold wheelchair

Love her or hate her, Lady Gaga never does anything subtly. After undergoing surgery on her hip last month (she has synovitis, an inflammation of the joints that causes pain, swelling and reduced range of motion; sounds like HO!), she was told she had to use a wheelchair until it heals, perhaps as long as 4 months.
So in true Gaga form, she went and commissioned the most pimped out wheelchair of all time from famed jewelry designer Ken Borochov (if only other pimped out wheelchairs got as much attention as this chair!). He made her a crown and a suit of armor previously (nice job Ken). Read this entry

The top ten wheelchair jean designers of 2013

Out of everything I’ve tried to wear in my wheelchair, jeans have always been one of the most disappointing things I’ve put on. They just never look right. Bulky, awkward, unflattering – jeans rarely look good when you’re sitting.  No joke, I stopped wearing jeans altogether until skinny jeans and jeggings came out.

But there are dozens of companies making wheelchair jeans. It sounds kind of silly, “wheelchair jeans,” “Yes, I’m going to buy a pair of wheelchair jeans,” but jeans tailored for people sitting exists. Here are the 10 big wheelchair jeans brands to know. Read this entry

Handcycling into the sunset

You got to love the handcycle. Bikes are no longer monopolized by bi-peds thanks to this awesome invention. As long as you have some arm movement, heck even if you don’t have any, you can use a handcycle.

Full-power, power-assist, traditional – handcycles work with any SCI level. Here are three videos showcasing the awesomeness of these bad boys, including one with built-in FES.

In our first video, watch a compilation of three different handcycles from Berkel Bike, a nouveau handcycle company from the Netherlands. They’ve gone and created a super unique handcycle that’s a fusion between a traditional handcycle and a tricycle.

Yup a tricycle, and it works quite well for people with spinal cord injuries. What I really love about this design is that your legs move passively as you pedal with your arms, enabling your legs to get in on the exercise-action too. And since it’s a trike, it sits a bit higher from the ground making transfers much, much easier. Read the rest of this entry

SCI Superstar: Darius Glover

Darius Glover is one of those tough as nails paraplegics we keep seeing more and more of. Why is he awesome? He’s the first paralyzed motocross racer to ride in a AMA (American Motorcyclists Association) sanctioned race, proving that yes – you can be paralyzed and still be competitive on a bike. So incredibly rad.

But racing from the waist up (he’s a T5 – T9 paraplegic) definitely weren’t in his original plans. Everything changed when at the age of 15 (while practicing for an upcoming race at the MX track “Field of dreams” in 2006), Darius crashed his bike on a slick double jump.

But even though his parents were hesitant at first (and even he wasn’t sure he could do it), Darius decided to not give up on his love and was back on a bike again within a few months of his injury. Read this entry

Video review of the Jamies Camisole

Time again for a video review! Just in time for Spring, I decided to give a Summery touch to the Jamies Camisole, a great top made by Ag Apparel, adding a belt and a grey skirt.

I really love this top in the ivory cotton pin-stripe. Such a subtle, classy pattern and it goes great with so many looks. Great top with two distinct looks – with cap sleeves or remove them for a sexy strappy look.

And the top is chock full of adaptive elements – a built-in bamboo layer so you don’t have to wear a breat, big button holes for people with limited hand movement and no zippers or Velcro.

Watch the video review

Buy the Jamies Camisole