It’s that time again. I can tick another box off my bucketlist!
In August I met Genéviève. She works for Visit Flanders and her job is to promote activities that are accessible for disabled people. Genéviève read my blog and suggested to do an activity. In exchange I had to write a story about my adventure and highlight the accessibility and possibilities for disabled people in Flanders.
Because I’m a daredevil she got me in touch with some people from ‘The Outsider‘ , an adventure park in Oudenaarde (a village in the Province of East Flanders). The park puts a lot of effort into make their activities accessible for everyone. I had the chance to do a highrope course and test a deathride. When I first heard about it, I was a little bit skeptic. How is it even possible to do a highrope course with a wheelchair? Do they know I can’t do anything? I couldn’t get a clear image of how it would work, BUT I was very keen to try it out!
The night before, I kinda had a hell of a night! I was struggling with my blanket. The more I was trying to pull it straight with my mouth, the worse it got. Yeah, it sounds a bit weird but if you can’t move your arms and legs you have to be creative :). After being awake for hours, I finally fell asleep by morning. And then of course, when the nurse arrived, l had just fallen into a deep sleep. (You can recognize it when I’m snoring…) So frustrating! 😣
My muscles were hurting, the bags under my eyes were huge to say the least! Always the same story after a tough night. So in the morning I wasn’t really into the mood for an adventurous day. Actually it was a “leave me alone kinda” day 😆. But sometimes you have to put your feelings aside and just live your day!
‘Carpe diem’ as they say!
When my Blog Team and I arrived at the park, two guys were already waiting for us. They were our guides for the day and were going to help me with the highrope course and the deathride. I decided to start with the highrope course, so I could save the best and most spectacular for last => The Deathride.
The highrope course is a tower with different floors. The higher you go the more scarier the obstacles get. The first floor (almost 4 meters high) is accessible through platforms and some obstacles were completely accessible for people in a wheelchair.
Step 1: Getting me ready! Just like with skydiving I had to put on a harness but now I also had to fasten my wheelchair with four ribbons. (The yellow ones in the picture.)
Step 2 : Lifting me up. Hanging there with my wheelchair was a bit weird, but a nice feeling.
The first obstacle: Hanging on a cable to reach the other side.
The second obstacle: Reach the other side by using an unsteady platform. Here I experienced some scary moments, because my brakes didn’t work well, which caused my friends to be scared that I would fall of the platform.
The third obstacle: Wooden platforms that move up and down! Really fun!
Before going down, we had to of course pose for a group picture. (In the meantime we do a little bit of advertising for Tourism in Flanders 😆 )
Then it was time for the real work. Time for The Deathride. For this one I didn’t need my wheelchair. Whoop Whoop! 🤗
Again I needed to put on a harness so that they could lift me up in the sky to a height of 15 metres! While they prepared me for the jump, I had to sit on the edge of the wall.
Then it was my turn to shine!
… 10 seconds later I landed safe and well back on the ground. It was short but powerful! The full 10 sec of fun ✌. Maybe you noticed on the video (otherwise you’re blind) that I’m hanging too much to the right side. That’s because my muscles are stronger on the right than on the left.
Overall it was a fun day and another cherished experience. What amazed me the most was the fact that The Outsider goes through so much effort to make everything available for EVERYONE. They make sure everyone can participate in the activities. An important job, I think. People with disabilities experience so many obstacles everyday. Now I had the possibility to participate instead of waiting at the sideline as I do often. That means so much, I think people with disabilities will confirm. So a big thank you to The Outsider and Visit Flanders for the opportunity.
See you next time, to test the big death ride above the water!