On June 5th I told you about an episode of the Sundance Channel’s Push Girls. This reality series features the lives of 4 young women who are in wheelchairs but lead some pretty incredible lives.
Last night’s episode (which you can get on ITunes and see it repeated on the Sundance Channel – it is episode 9 called Freaky Deaky) features push girl Mia Schalkewitz, a former swimmer who as a teenager contracted a rare disease that caused her paralysis. The episode is premised on her going on a first date with someone who suggests they go kayaking. I am her instructor. As Mia says in the trailer “I definitely like adventures, but kayaking? This date was not going to be as easy as I thought.”
Well she had the date. I got Mia in a boat and off she and her date went. They got to see sea lions, pelicans and many of the sites I get to see every weekend. She says in the show that she felt comfortable in the kayak because she is used to relying on her upper body strength. This makes kayaking a great sport for people who use wheelchairs and I hope the show helps others with such physical challenges to try adaptive kayaking.
It was a great experience for me and while they did not shoot my “good side” (because I don’t have one) I did enjoy hearing how Mia enjoyed paddling, how she felt comfortable and how much she enjoyed seeing the wildlife out there.
Unfortunately Mia didn’t find that “spark” with her date, but I hope she doesn’t feel the same about kayaking. Mia – I hope you will consider coming out again (with someone else or by yourself). You did great!