Channeling Your Inner Lawn Guy

Mowing the grass is definitely one of those love it or hate it things. For those who find it unendingly satisfying and refuse to walk away from it just because they can’t do it how “they used to” anymore, those are the people who invent some pretty spectacular stuff.

It’s summer, the grass is growing like crazy and you’re still paralyzed. What better way to show a handful of awesome wheelchair grass mowing videos? Check out four unforgettable ones. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Tasha Schuh

Author, singer, inspirational speaker, proud owner of a van she calls “Go Go Gadget,” oh and did I mention she’s Ms. Wheelchair USA 2012? Tasha Schuh, from Ellsworth, Wisconsin, is one of the most glowing, driven women you’ll ever meet.

But she wasn’t always this way. After breaking her neck backstage during a theater production in high school (she was a singer herself), she stepped into an open trap door she didn’t know was behind her, and her life was changed forever. She fell 16 feet, hitting the cement floor and breaking her C5 vertebrae on impact.

But after a year of depression, she started to see a good life with paralysis was still possible, and began to look forward to heal – a common saying that was soon to become her mantra. Read this entry

Much Love for the Ultra Accessible Yosemite National Park

No other National Park comes close to what Yosemite offers, and we have both Teddy Roosevelt and Justin Dart to thank. Amazing nature and accessibility combined. It took a lot of advocating to make Yosemite a reality, and it’s stunning.

And the park offers so much in the way of accessibility. It has several miles of accessible trails, viewing areas and new ADA projects are always starting. You can reconnect with nature in an amazing way here at Yosemite, and they even offer extreme accessible activities on-site.

Enticed? Here are four awesome videos showing why you should put Yosemite on your bucket list if you have a SCI. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Erik Kondo

No one likes to feel vulnerable, but when you experience life as a person with a spinal cord injury, that’s one of the number one feelings that overwhelms you. Erik Kondo however refused to feel this way.

A T4-5 paraplegic from Lexington, Massachusetts, Erik decided to combat this feeling by learning self-defense skills through martial arts, and he is now one of the most talented martial artists with a disability in the world and is now a 3rd degree black belt.

From applying his self-defense knowledge to help to protect women with disabilities online to showing newly injured people how to be independent, read on to learn about the fearless SCI superstar who’s using his talents to help others, Erik Kondo. Read this entry

Getting to Work After a Spinal Cord Injury

Going back to work is one of the scariest things when you have a spinal cord injury. Everything seems impossibly more difficult, especially when it comes to getting your butt from Point A to Point B, i.e., from your house to work that is.

Maybe you can still drive yourself in your old car, but you have to use hand controls now, or maybe you live in a huge metro where there’s subways – how in the heck are you going to get to work now?

From an amazing video profiling a vent-dependent quad kindergarten teacher to a paraplegic who commutes into NYC each day, here are three videos showing how they got back to work. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Chantal Petitclerc

Winner of 15 Paralympic gold medals in wheelchair racing but first, a humanist and one of Canada’s greatest athletes, Chantal Petitclerc (pronounced “petty-claire”) is one of the most talented paralyzed athletes to grace this planet. And Canada is making sure no one forgets.

Growing up in a small town in Quebec, Chantal Petitclerc lived a quiet life on her family farm. And when she was 13, her idyllic life came to a sudden halt when a heavy barn door fell on her, breaking her back. Since that day, Chantal has been living her life as a paraplegic and she’s been unstoppable. Read this entry

These Sailors Don’t Need Legs to Sail

If you have sturdy stomach and a sense of adventure, adapted sailing is one of the most thrilling sports to explore after an injury.

Peaceful, beautiful, and incredibly challenging, the para and quad sailors of the world can’t get enough of it. And it’s no wonder, there’s magic in them there waters.

And let’s not forget, adapted sailing is also an official Paralympic sport. You will find dedicated disabled yachtsmen and sailors all over the globe.

The sport truly has become an awesome fusion of ancient knowledge and modern technology. Check out our three videos showing some of the bravest sailors with spinal cord injuries we could find. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Chad Hymas

A dedicated, hard-working family man is something Chad Hymas has always been, but the incredibly ironic happened as he rushed back to the homestead to watch his young son take his first steps – a 1 ton bale of hay landed on him, taking away his ability to walk.

Since that fateful day, Chad has went on to become one of the most dynamic speakers on the speaking circuit. Read this entry

Podcast 98: Jen Addis – motivational speaker & TV host

In podcast #98, Tiffiny invites the dynamic Jen Addis on the show. A C5-6 quadriplegic from Hancock, Wisconsin who’s been a mover and a shaker in the spinal cord injury community since her injury.

Three years after her injury, Jen entered the Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin pageant, winning it and setting off her motivational speaking career at the same time. Now 13 years later, Jen has become an amazing speaker and is branching out onto TV; a natural fit for the sunny disposition she emanates literally inside and out. She is also a blast to listen to.

Check out the podcast and listen as Jen and Tiffiny talk about her injury and how she was able to reinvent herself. Also, they talk about an awesome fashion show coming up, This Is How We Roll, in Wisconsin this October. They’re looking for 50+ fashionable women, men, kids of all ages. You can get a model application by visiting Jen’s site for the event here, Inspiration Speaks.

Our little podcast No Free Rides is sponsored by EasyStand.

Show run time is 54 minutes. Listen in the player below.

Links from the episode

– Jen’s official site: Inspiration Speaks

Read Jen’s column “Hey Jen!” for mobileWOMEN


Aging gracefully despite the “easy wheelchair life”

My friend Carrie, also a wheelchair-user, but not from a spinal cord injury (she has cerebral palsy: moderately so and can push herself in a manual chair), is a my only friend in a wheelchair who lives in my area. We met one another at David Bowie’s “Reality” tour in 2005, and she’s a woman with some mighty keen insight. 10 years older than me, she looks about 28 years old.

See, Carrie has this amusing theory that people who use wheelchairs from childhood on up, end up looking younger than their real age most of their lives – we live a “soft life” she theorizes, because well, for many of us we have no other choice.
Spending hours in the sun working for example, not many of us could do that even if we wanted. So we end up with the skin of an angel, and love it or hate it – getting carded into our 40’s…read this entry