musings from Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington ... home of The Write Spot

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

wheels to fly...

Two days ago, my son J was fitted for a custom wheelchair, part of a long-term strategy to aid his recovery from a spinal cord injury.  At home that evening, we happened to catch a re-run of The Mercer Report on CBC where wild man Rick Mercer and his guest, paralympian Rick Hansen visited Whistler, British Columbia. Serendipity, I thought. What better role model for J than the famous 'Man in Motion' himself? And then they did this:

J was thrilled, whooping right along with the two Ricks as they plummeted into the river gorge, wheelchair and all. I wasn't surprised. J has always been a give-it-a-try kind of guy. Me? Not so much. Never mind jumping. The thought of just standing on that platform, looking (gulp) down, gives me the shivering fits and collywobbles.

J has watched the jump vid half a dozen times now and I love the positive message he’s seeing, reinforcing the give-it-a-try mindset. Of course, when it comes to wheelchair bungee jumping, I’m not worried. Really. I'm sure he'll be content with vicarious thrills.


Hmm. J has also been pondering colour options for his fancy new wheels and just announced a change of mind. Goodbye sedate forest green, hello fire engine red. Easier to spot at the bottom of a river.

Rick Hansen bungee jumping at Whistler
Rick Hansen after his jump into the gorge at Whistler.

(I’ll get you for this, Mercer.)

Updated on Aug 14 to allow video play on iPad/iPhone. 


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At 11:48 am, Blogger Sheila Seabrook said...

OMG, that was fantastic to watch. No wonder J wants to give it a try, Cheryl. :)

I'd love to be one of those brave give-it-a-try people, but I'm a scardey cat at heart...

At 12:49 pm, Anonymous Susan McNicoll said...

I had not seen this segment (love Mercer) before and it made my heart good to see them both stretch their limits, especially Hansen of course. I loved his "I can't feel my legs" comment. Both braver human beings than I, at least physically. It is making me think about the difference between physical and emotional bravery and that it would make a good blog. Oops. Sorry, slipped off topic! As the mother I imagine your emotions range from pride to fear and back at the thought of J leaping off into the gorge like that! It says a lot about your young man that he would even consider it. I am hoping he is just teasing you!

At 3:20 pm, Blogger Cheryl said...

Oh, Susan, I hope you're right! He does like to wind me up...anything to make Mom cringe. Must be a guy thing. If he ever does decide to make the jump, it won't be with me as his companion. My personal challenge was walking across the Capilano Bridge. I did it, but just about expired from fright on the way!

I'd never seen this Mercer segment before, either, but it was so perfectly timed for J. Really gave him a glimpse of what true ability is all about. And, yes, the banter between the two Ricks was a joy to watch.

Thanks for reading!


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