During my stay at Sargood at Collaroy I took part in various adaptive sports. It was hard to choose from the long list of available activities, some onsite and others out and about. http://sargoodoncollaroy.com/guest-services/recreational-activities/
As this was my first visit I decided to make use of the equipment that was onsite. My first activity was to access the rock pool. To do this I was helped to transfer onto a special wheel chair designed to go in the water. I was also given a wet suit top to wear as being paralysed one gets cold very quickly and it is important to stay warm. What a treat and what an odd feeling. My paralysed legs now float to the surface in water so I bob about a bit like a cork in the water!!! I have never been a good swimmer but used to love walking in a pool or doing water aerobics, both of which are now impossible. However I can sort of tread water and push my legs down and kind of bicycle them. This is a great feeling of freedom even if my body just kind of does what it wants in the way of floating. Plus the rock pool was quite rough due to the large waves crashing in so it was hard work but felt wonderful. Seb, who organises all the adaptive sports assured me he was close enough to grab me if I started to sink… but I did notice as the session moved on and I gained confidence he moved further away!!! On my next visit I will try to master some swimming strokes or just floating on my back.
Next I took the four wheel drive wheel chair for a ride along the promenade. I did not go along the beach as the sand had washed away from the edge so could not gain access to beach. However I did go over the rough grass and will go along the beach on my next visit.
During my stay at Royal Rehab I used the hand cycles and have written about this experience. They are really great to use and good exercise. At Sargood I discovered a new hand cycle that also rotates your legs, giving them passive exercise. The picture at the top of the page shows me on this. Once again Seb got me organised and put the bike on the right settings to fit me. After a bit of a practice off we went towards Long Reef. This time I was not ready to go up and around long reef but again next time I will be stronger!! Also the brakes take some getting used to as you have to cycle hands in reverse, never did find out how to actually reverse the hand cycle or maybe you can only go forward!! Once again Seb had a close eye while I was learning which is a great help to build confidence in these new adventures.
Most days after the initial assessment I used the gym. Lewis organises this and is an exercise physiologist. Well this is a gym like you have never seen before. Most equipment is accessible sitting in a wheel chair. Weights are adjusted via a computerised screen. When the programs are fully set up and I join the gym I will have a tag to swipe at each machine and it will automatically set to my program. The worst part is that Lewis can see exactly what you have done, so no cheating!! If he thinks the program is getting too easy he can increase the weights!! There is also a moto med machine plus a type of cross trainer to sit at. There is a physio table for stretches plus another table, that with help, they can tilt you into a standing position… I am waiting for the gym membership to be organised so that I can keep doing this each week.
Last but not least Adam and I went for a roll around Narrabeen lake. When I was still able to walk we used to go around one side of the lake but it was not joined to do the full circle. In the last couple of years they have created a bridge and you can now get all the way around. I used my Bike head to motor around in my wheel chair. This also helped with some rough areas where the rain had washed the paths away. Adam had a big walk, 8.5km, so we were both glad to see a lovely cafe at the end!!
It was just wonderful to have access to all these activities and “toys” catering to my needs. Everyone working there is more than helpful and made me to feel comfortable with everything I tried. Next visit Seb tells me I have to try the motorized surf board!!! We will see about that one!!!
Feel free to share with others. It can be distributed via social media, reblogged or added to websites. Please do not change the original content and provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name and a link to this blog. https://lifeinawheelchairblog.wordpress.com