At the beach or the skate park – this is where you would’ve found Christiaan Bailey (who’s on the cover of this month‘s Sports ‘n Spokes magazine), an always-on-the-go pro surfer before his injury.
What’s awesome about this SCI superstar is that this is where you can still find him.
A L3-L4 fracture while filming a skateboarding video in 2006 is how Christiaan became paralyzed, but he’s refused to let it stop him from doing what he loves. Within weeks, Christiaan was already sketching surf board designs for paraplegics from his hospital bed. Read this entry
In episode 13, Mia swims her first meet (and it’s against all able-bodied swimmers), Auti and Eric finally get some deep conversations going on having kids and Tiphany rolls a 5k. And you gotta watch Tiph do her faux chair “run” in Angela’s kitchen.
And good news! Push Girls has been renewed for a second season! (look for it in 2013)
SPOILERS AHEAD ***
The episode begins by checking in with Mia at the pool, whose doing her last practice before her swim meet, and we get another melodramatic over dub of Mia’s story, and she talks about how hard it was to not be able to swim anymore (and now she’s worried about failing).
Her trainer Kevin, who trained several Paralympic athletes, has her doing different turns in the water. He tells the camera she needs to get over her emotional blocks if she wants to succeed.
After she gets out of the pool, she tells him how slow she feels when she’s swimming, which I’m sure is a big change from how it felt before. “I’m still so far from the level I used to be at,” she says. “The meet is only a few days away, but I really don’t feel ready.”
Back in the year 2000, all you’d see online about wheelchair dance was wheelchair ballroom dance videos or maybe something on wheelchair ballet, but not anymore. Oh no.
Wheelchair dance has come a long way in the last decade, and Auti Angel of Push Girls, one of the best paralyzed hip-hop dancers in the world, has definitely helped make it more popular than ever. So we’ve uncovered a few others.
Mobile phone technology is the reason so much more wc-dance info is online, including the dozens of adapted dance videos that are available.
I’m always searching for videos that prove you can still be a dancer to be reckoned with even if you use a wheelchair, and these following videos do just that.
The first video profiles a young man from France paralyzed in a car accident. He was a self proclaimed “b-boy” before his injury, so figuring out how to adjust his moves to his body wasn’t something he even needed to think about.
He has invented this leg-crossing method to get into some very cool moves. Watch him perform to Michael Jackson’s “Beat it” and do one of his coolest moves – a wheelchair somersault. Read this entry
In episode 11, the girls get to do one of the best adrenaline rushes you can still get when paralyzed – downhill skiing. They head to Big Bear, Cali for the classic weekend ski getaway.
Tiphany and Chelsie have fun rating hot men during the road trip there, Chelsie can’t calm her nerves before she skis and Angela has so much fun she can’t stop smiling. Also, watch Mia prove paraplegics can conquer the top bunk!
SPOILERS AHEAD ***
The episode begins with a flurry of activity at Angela’s house – all four girls are there, plus Chelsie, to pack for their trip to Big Bear (Auti’s idea. She’s the only one in the group who has gone adapted skiing before).
Both Chelsie and Tiphany have gone skiing before their injuries, but Chelsea is definitely the most scared to go. She tried snowboarding her first time a month before her injury, and talks about how she’s afraid it won’t be the same.
Angela thinks it’ll be scary. “Come on a quadriplegic skiing?” Mia says this is the first time she’s ever gone skiing, and I think she kind of likes it that way. We get a cute shot of Angela and her 25 year old boyfriend (she’s 37), and calls herself a “cougar kitty.”
Their relationship is definitely getting stronger. Cody says learning to be with Angela has been an amazing growth process. “I had to battle immaturity to be her boyfriend,” he says.
In episode 10, Auti’s overbearing nature is spotlighted. She and Eric mix words while recording tracks for their new CD, and the Colours ‘n Motion dance crew butt heads after Chelsie and Mia get sick of doing the same old routine. Tiphany also takes Chelsie mini-golfing!
SPOILERS AHEAD ****
This episode begins with Chelsie getting dropped off at Tiphany & Angela’s house. Chelsie is staying at the house because she’s in town for an upcoming performance with the Colors n’ Motion dance crew. The dance team is scheduled to perform at an “abilities event” at a nearby aquarium that weekend. Tiphany shows off her luggage pushing method with her footrests. Man that girl has some upper body strength.
Tiphany shares how much she values her relationship with Chelsie, hoping she can be a good mentor to her since Chelsie was injured only two years ago and is just 19. After Chelsie arrives, the show goes into the close relationship Tiphany and Chelsie have created since they’re so alike in personalities.
“She’s like my older sister that I never had,” says Chelsie. “You are so tan,” Tiphany says as she looks over Chelsie once they get into the house. “And you’re so hot. Why are you so hot?” she asks with a smile, and they laugh. A fashion side note, Tiphany sure
Have you seen the episode of Celebrity Death match with the tough (and heavily tattooed) quad rugby player, Mark Zupan? He pretty much kicked Chris Pontius’ butt, and it was awesome.
It’s about time the world saw that wheelchair-users can have mad self defense skills. There are a ton of us out there, and you’ll find us at every level of ability (I still have a ways to go).
We can have great upper-body strength, so hey, shouldn’t be all that surprising right? And the following two videos you’re about to see are the BEST of the best when it comes to wheelchair self-defense.
This first video comes from the enlightened self-defense school in San Diego, Jing Chen Koushu. The founder Greg, may be able-bodied, but holy cow is he one of the best self-defense trainers I’ve ever seen for wc-users.
He’s trained Therese Riedel, (a very buff) C5 quad, some of the most intense wheelchair self-defense moves I’ve ever seen anyone her level of spinal cord injury do. Read this entry
Check out what I did earlier this week. Oh…I just stood up and took my first putt on the green since 1993 (no big).
So how do I look standing up? (not bad for being paralyzed for 18 years). If you have never seen or heard of the Paramovile before, you can learn all about it in my post on how the day went down (loved it, but my short game needs a lot of work). Read this entry
One word has been driving Ricky James since he broke his back – perseverance (and he has the entire thing tattooed up his left leg in huge cursive font).
If you know motocross, you probably know who Ricky James is (and maybe knew about him before injury).
He was a rising 15 year old star in the motocross world who started racing at the age of 2 (they called him a “prodigy on two wheels”). He was even home-schooled so he could keep up with his crazy schedule.
Motocross is in Ricky’s blood and always will be. That is why after his accident (he hit a dirt embankment racing Amateurs Nationals in Lake Whitney, Texas), he was the last guy to ever think of wiping his hands clean of the sport he grew up sleeping and breathing.
Are you kidding? “Motocrossers are a different breed,” says Ricky. Read this entry
By using either good old-fashioned American ingenuity or the very cool stand-up personal mobility device, the Paragolfer (also known as the Paramobile), the only handicap you have to worry about when you’re out on the links is your number of swings, not your paralysis. See with golf, creativity is key.
It’s funny…so many people think golf is off-limits to people in chairs. But as long as you have the right equipment (and an open-minded golf course that doesn’t think wheelchair-users are the equivalent of lawn-wrecking gophers), you can golf. Really!
All you need is some upper-body movement and determination to get out there.
In this first video, Tim, a paraplegic from Illinois, shows how he’s perfected his golf swing from his manual wheelchair (he doesn’t use any fancy mobility devices either).
By simply twisting his torso to his right (and keeping his legs in their usual position), Tim can swing his club quite impressively (it’s no monster drive, but it flies). And he uses a reacher to set his ball on the tee. Genius! Read this (awesome) entry
It was bound to happen, an episode that centers on the always delightfully controversial topic – stem cells. Drama ahoy (and swimming too)!
SPOILERS AHEAD ****
Episode six starts out with a nice shot of Mia driving her convertible, wearing black lace tights and a white lacy skirt. She meets Tiphany for a workout session, where they discuss the annoyances of working out so fiercely that you can’t transfer back into your car, and other such amusing foibles that only people with spinal cord injuries could get.
I think it’s great the show is having the girls explain their abilities post-injury, in relation to their specific injury location, which is (I’m sure) helping educate the masses. Mia reveals she can still move two toes, and Tiphany can actually feel everything (and move everything) from the mid-thighs up (lucky bitch).