The last week I went away to camp for the first time since my accident. I was contacted a few months back by a lady named Lauren who had invited me to come to Camp PossAbility, a camp designed for high function adults (with a high school diploma) with some sort of physical disability. I honestly wasn't that excited about going, as camping really isn't my thing. Lauren and I stayed in contact and I started thinking about how good this could be from me. Not only would this get me out of the house for a week, it would give me a chance to connect with others who are in a similar situation as me. The camp offered a lot of activities that I don't have the access to do at home, such as zip lining, canoeing, adaptive biking and so much more. So I decided to go, even though this was totally out of my comfort zone. My sister kept telling me it could be a God thing I went and I don't think there's a better way to sum up my week at camp.
I started to get really nervous the day of and I wasn't sure how I was going to survive a week without my phone, without my bed and without being close to the people I know and love. I tend to have trouble sleeping at night because my anxiety gets so bad and keeps me awake. The only thing that really seems to calm me down is being able to talk to Dustin or my sister.. and without a phone for a week, I wasn't sure how I was going to manage sleeping. I also worried I wasn't going to be able to make connections with people outside our disabilities and I didn't just want to focus on being someones friend because we both struggle with some sort of disability.. I wanted to form connections because we had common interests.
As soon as I started talking to people and getting to know them, their stories and their struggles- it really became clear to me that it was totally a God thing I was there. It opened my eyes to see the struggles that a lot of people face daily and it was a humbling experience. It showed me how much I truly have to be thankful for and how blessed I truly am.
I never really get out a lot because my anxiety makes it hard for me to leave the comfort of my home. I hate that I've allowed something to control me like that and coming to camp made it easy for me. I didn't have to worry about things being accessible and me being embarrassed because I couldn't get in some place. I didn't have to worry about the awkward things that come with my disability making me stand out. I didn't feel uncomfortable about my chair once because everyone there understood exactly where I was coming from in some way and nothing had to be awkward. I honestly don't think there was one point at camp that I felt overly anxious... I felt "normal" for once and that's not a feeling I'm used to.
I know a lot of people who have spinal cord injuries read my blog and that's why I wanted to share my experience about camp. I never knew there was such a thing as adaptive camps and I think that it could really benefit a lot of people to go. You get to experience a week where you're the norm and you don't even have to think twice about your disability. You just get to live life and I think that's really rad.
I wasn't sure what the week would hold for me but I'm so glad I decided to go to camp last week. I'm glad I got out of my comfort zone and tried something new. Below is the highlight video of the week at camp and some of the things we were able to do! If you're thinking about coming next year, I suggest it!