Editor’s Note: No one goes through life without problems. However, living life isn’t about the problems you have, but rather what you do with those problems and how you turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Once you look around and see the difficulties other people are facing, you’ll recognize that the things you’re dealing with aren’t nearly as important or as tough as problems other people have. But another key part of having a great life is seeing and learning how others have dealt with their physical challenges, overcome them and used those challenges for the betterment of mankind. This is the story of Karim Ladki of Vancouver, Canada, the founder and owner of 9Lives Adventures, Inc., who has decided to give everyone the adventures they seek, regardless of their physical concerns. Part 4 of a 5-part series.
Almost everyone who asks me about 9Lives Adventures wants to know, “How does someone bungee jump if he or she is in a wheelchair or has physical disabilities?” Most people think of bungee jumping as a sport designed for able bodied people. What we’ve learned is that our wheelchair athletes can jump and stay in their wheelchairs. Wheelchairs are very sturdy, and jumping while you’re in a wheelchair keeps the body much more steady than jumping without one does and keeps the blood from flowing to your head. A wheelchair jumper has a specific bungee cord that’s actually tied to the axles of the wheelchair. When they’re ready, they take the 160 foot leap of faith.
So far we’ve had many different people bungee jump. The people who have jumped told me that they’ve gained a tremendous amount of confidence and courage from the experience. Our clients are on the bungee bridge with able bodied individuals who are also going to jump. When they see someone in a wheelchair jump, he or she becomes the hero of the day and proves that if he or she can do it, others can too.
When the jumpers land, they have one of two types of landing experiences. They’re either dead silent trying to catch their breath, or they’re the complete opposite, screaming and yelling with excitement over the experience they’ve just had. Following a tour with 9Lives, we’ve had people tell us how much confidence they’ve gained through what they’ve just done and the confidence to get on with their lives and possibly become more than they’ve thought possible. Really and truly this was the main reason we started 9Lives Adventures.
I think high adventure activities cause people to sit higher and straighter in their wheelchairs, knowing they’ve conquered the seemingly impossible. Others can see that these folks have “go-get-em” attitudes. Our people have learned that once they can overcome tremendous fear and take a couple of steps toward that fear, the fear and adventure are really no big deal. After one of these experiences, they’ll usually want to try other new activities and meet new people who are willing to go through some of the same experiences they’ve enjoyed.
See the bird’s eye perspective of bungee jumping with 9Lives Adventures here:
Next: What’s High Adventure For You? With Karim Ladki Of 9Lives Adventures
About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com