This month marked the 26th year that the San Diego Adaptive Sports Foundation (SDASF) organized and hosted the San Diego Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp.
Each August SDASF offers a unique opportunity for children ages 4-18 with a physical disability to attend a five-day adaptive sports camp. Sports offered include basketball, hip hop dance, tennis, archery, rugby, soccer, physical conditioning, and more. Organizers explain that the goals of the camp are to help establish the building blocks of an active life through the introduction of adaptive sports and recreation.
As you may know, my oldest daughter Mikaela was born two and half months early and has cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that can involve brain and nervous system functions, such as movement, learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking. There are several different types of cerebral palsy, including spastic, dyskinetic, ataxic, hypotonic, and mixed. Mikaela endures a spastic form of cerebral palsy and can use either her walker, arm crutches (she used her arm crutches to walk for 8th grade promotion in front of thousands at the beginning of summer), or she can use her wheelchair.
The SDASF staff and volunteers enable these youngsters to do things that they will remember for a lifetime. Imagine not being able to go to the beach due to the difficulty getting through the sand, and yet every one of the hundred or so kids in attendance were able to go sailing in the bay, tubing along the shoreline, cruise the board walk on hand cycles, scuba dive at the pool at Southwestern College and shoot hoops on the hardwoods. The joy and elation was only matched by the smiles of the volunteers who took their vacation time from work to help out for the week.
Just an amazing week of fun, fitness and fellowship. The impact that it has had on me is personal. Mikaela, typically reserved, has broken out of her shell and has learned that she can do the unimaginable. She sees the other older kids zooming across the rugby field, cutting, spinning and smashing into each other in their chairs faster than you or I can run and sees that she can do those things as well.
She has a newfound confidence to push herself beyond what she thought were her limits! Upon picking her up after seven hours of physicality, she zooms over to the car, me having to jog to catch up, and she transfers from her chair to the car and is buckled and ready to go before I am!
Are you ready to push yourself beyond your physical limits? It’s time to turn it up a notch and beyond your comfort zone.
What an awesome week for the kids, the volunteers and the families that have been blessed by this camp. Thank you, San Diego Adaptive Sports Foundation. To find out how you can donate of your time, talents or funds, please visit www.sdasf.org.
Good luck and be you—only better! Visit www.ramonastrainer.com or www.ramonafitness.com for more info and this week’s Workout of the Week video and how you can get started on your path to you, only better! I can be reached at the club at 760-789-3500.
Peter San Nicholas, owner of Ramona Fitness Center, is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified fitness professional, Crossfit Level 1 certified trainer, and Titleist Performance Institute certified golf fitness professional.