I am rarely content unless I am challenging myself to try something new. The latest project? Starting a non profit, being awarded $25 000 and figuring out how to spend the money in one weekend.
I was on a ski trip in Austria last winter when I came up with the idea of Live It! Love It!… An organization that promotes adaptive adventure and provides outdoor recreation opportunities for people with physical disabilities, by planning adventures, providing support, funding and access to equipment training and instruction.
Not the first of it’s kind for sure, but we are different from other adaptive sports programs in Canada as we are focused on ADVENTURE, rather than traditional wheelchair sports or tried and tested disabled friendly activities. My vision for Live It! Love It! is that it is all about trying something new and creating access point to the outdoors for the physically disabled.
I believe any obstacle can be overcome with a little creativity, a positive attitude and the right support network. A good plan always helps too.
The first challenge? Deciding what to do with a $25 000 grant awarded to us from the Keg Steakhouse on June 29th 2011. I decided planning the ultimate adventure camp and deemed it “Freewheel Whistler”.. inviting 20 individuals who have recently sustained life changing injuries. All are wheelchair users, between the ages of 16-33, with a passion for adventure and the outdoors.
So far, so good.
My friends and I have spent the summer researching “adaptive adventure” and adapting adventure for ourselves.. Since April my boyfriend who suffered a severe spinal cord injury last year have dogsledded, roadtripped from Whistler to Newfoundland and back, hiked into remote hotsprings, cycled, canoed, bungee jumped, swam in lakes, flown in helicopters, fished and explored back roads and lakes in BC. We made many mistakes, learned countless lessons, had some awesome experiences and were surprised by our potential time and time again…
The camp is two weeks away and we have an action packed agenda- three days of bungee jumping, zip lining, rock climbing, kayaking, gliding and atving in Whistler, along with presentations from Paralympians, pro athletes, sports psychologists and adaptive adventures..
I am so excited about Freewheel Whistler, the Live It! Love It! Foundation and the incredible response we have had from our family friends and anonymous supporters along the way. I cannot wait to see what kind of ideas and energy manifest over the weekend and the connections that are made with the campers in attendance.
Check out www.liveitloveit.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about the foundation and the camp!