Climbing Out of a Wheelchair with The Captain

This event happened June 28th, at a BIA event in New Liskeard, Ontario. And I was there.

It was a fine, sunny June morning with the sun shining in all its splendor and grace. The downtown core was cordoned of, passerby’s filling the streets, shop owners putting out their tables and tents. The entire neighborhood was infused with life as the BIA had set up a town festival with all kinds of fun filled activities for people of all age groups.!

From the fun zone that they had setup, I looked on as the giggles and the laughter soared every time a kid on the climbing wall would aim for the bell and miss it. It still amazes me how this simple activity can bring joy to the lives of so many. The ever-expanding crowd that had gathered around the portable rock climbing wall was full of enthusiasm. The entire area was a marvel to look at it; never before have I seen such sky rocketing energy in this town as I was witnessing at that time. While all this frolic and festivity was gradually augmenting into a full-fledged celebration, my eyes stumbled upon the sight of four wheelchair bound passersby. With a quiet disposition and remorse in their eyes, they looked on at the able-bodied people thriving on the perks of life. That anguish in those eyes left me pondering: why does life have to be good to some and hard on others?

As I looked on, one of them who appeared rather intrigued coaxed the other to try the climb. With reluctance and surprise bursting through each muscular attachment of his face, the person denied straight away. As I was nearby, I assured him about his safety and just knew it there and then that; all that this person needed was a word of support. I realized that the same stood true for the rest of the three as well. Without giving it a second thought, I approached the rest of the group and asked them to join in the fun and go for the climb. Our conversation got noticed and soon the crowd starts to pay attention to this group of four people, who were previously barely even noticeable. All of them were skeptical and very nervous, not knowing whether to trust their weak limbs or not. And then the unthinkable happened. The same hesitant man wheeled up to the front lineup, ready to attempt the vertical challenge.  Our senior coach got all of his safety equipment on; with his harness and locking carabiner in place; the paraplegic slowly approached the wall. There was no way of him or anyone else knowing that BlackRock specialises in disabled rock climbing equipment.  As we slowly counterbalanced his weight and he use every once of energy available to his arms and hands, the crowd waited with baited breath as he climbed up and rang the bell! That very sight broke the crowd in a boisterous rapture and even those people who were previously reluctant or somewhat uninterested, could not wait for their turn at the thrill. Not a single person present there could hold themselves for praising the courage of those four special people.

Over the last 16 years working with the abled and disabled alike, I have seen countless instances of people being brought back to life with a little motivation. Our portable rock climbing company provides one on one coaching to the physically challenged and makes them realize that even they can achieve what they dream of. The modified mobile rock climbing wall has given  years of invaluable service to people with all kinds of difficulties: cancer, blindness, deafness, dumbness, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder. I have witnessed people’s lives changing for the better, as they unlock their hidden potential to reveal very high spirited individuals. Another great day at a fantastic BIA venue!


Disabled rock climbing equipment

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