The common climber website

Another sport that I recently found is rock climbing.  I began climbing in 2013 and it is one of the most challenging and limit pushing things I have ever experienced.  I was inspired to try this sport after the passing of a childhood friend, Nick Hall.  He lost his life on Mt. Rainier as a rescue ranger, performing a rescue.  When I heard that news I went to his Facebook page and just looked through all the amazing photos he had of places he had climbed, including Rainier.  I decided that day I was going to find a way up there to see what he had with my own eyes.  I have yet to get there but am now in the process of planning the expedition.

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EL Capitan

I have been struggling with how to describe such a life changing, mind-boggling experience.  I want you to know how it feels looking out at Yosemite Valley from over a thousand feet up, hanging from a single rope.  I want you to feel the updrafts that pushed the portaledge, making it seem as though I was floating.  I want you to see the brightest stars you have ever seen, and to trace the sun as it peeks around El Capitan in the mornings and hides on the other side after a long, exhausting day.

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The mighty website
What Independence Means to Me as a Person With Spina Bifida

As a person who has been disabled my entire life due to spina bifida, I have found I have a different idea of what being independent means to me. I have a lot more friends who have become disabled due to injury than those who have been born into it. As I have spent time with my friends, I have noticed they seem to be adamant about doing things on their own. They will even struggle to do something when help is nearby and could easily be acquired to make the task much faster and easier.

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What I Wish People Who Feel Awkward About My Wheelchair Would Do

I was talking to a friend the other day about how people interact with me as a person with a disability. My friend happens to work with an organization that serves the disabled community by offering recreational opportunities. During the conversation, he told me he had recently taken a class on the subject of interacting with disabled people. I immediately wondered… why would my friend need a class to interact with me? I have been pondering this idea for a couple days and decided to write about my thoughts.

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Why I Say ‘Yes’ to Challenges in My Life With Spina Bifida

As a person living with spina bifida, challenge is part of life.  Although people may see me in a wheelchair and think I have it harder than others, I think everyone has challenges in life. It’s how we face them that really matters. I could just as easily have said “I don’t want to deal with this” and stayed home. Instead, I choose to face challenges and even find challenges to face.

I suppose my affinity for challenge really started when I met my physical education teacher, Bob Dyer, on my first day of junior high school. Each class he would push me to try things beyond what I thought possible. He became a driving force in my life, and with each challenge he presented I said “yes” and met it head on. He never expected anything less of me.

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Why I Love Rock Climbing as a Person With a DISABILITY

I was born with spina bifida, which left me unable to move my legs. I have used a wheelchair as my mode of transportation my whole life. I lived in the woods in northern Maine, so I spent a lot of my growing-up years in the outdoors, either hunting and fishing with my dad or just being in the woods around our home.

When I entered junior high, I met a man who would influence the rest of my life  — my Phys. Ed. teacher Bob Dyer. He was the first person to really push me to go beyond the fence and test my limits. One of the first things he said to me was “How many push-ups can you do?” He suggested 20, so I did 40. I think that was my first mistake, and also the best thing I could have done. I set the bar a little too high, and he expected that from me from then on out. He made sure I was involved in as many activities as possible, even taking a week each year to take me skiing at Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation.

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