On Saturday 5th November 2016, I excitedly headed to the Alexandra Headlands Surf Lifesaving Club, for a day at the beach! Only…this was to be a day with a BIG difference – Sunshine Coast Council were trialling new disability beach mats, which (as I, along with about 40 other mat ‘test pilots’ was about to discover for myself) make life SO much easier when trying to manoeuvre over the soft sand at the beach – which is near impossible (and a lot of work!) not just for people in wheelchairs – but for others with mobility issues, seniors, and prams too. A ‘day at the beach’ for me (which I’ve only bothered to do a handful of times because of the sheer effort involved) isn’t that ‘carefree’ because of my mobility issues – not to mention, I always ‘missed’ in my mind, the fact that I just couldn’t enjoy the freedom of ‘a carefree day at the beach’ without a lot of effort/pre-planning etc). These mats will mean that I could just wake up (on the days I know the mats are there) and think “I might head to the beach!”…and just hop in the car and get down there and enjoy the beach/ocean – next to no effort needed! Just like anyone else…amazing!
….my words I shared on social media when I arrived home – sunkissed, exhausted, but feeling SO alive and full of gratitude!…
“Can we do that again?!?” haha
Well thats something I’ve never done before – heading into the ocean fully clothed! haha. Excitedly heading to the mat trial this morning, I just thought we would be heading up and down the mats, trying them out to see how well they worked etc, so didnt even think of taking my togs/towel – but heading down the mat towards the ocean, once I waved my hand through that beautiful water on the edge, and washed it over my face – that was it, I just HAD to get out of my chair and get in, sitting in the shallows letting the small waves of that salty ocean wash over me. The lifeguards were incredible with us – and I was also supported me to walk a few steps in the water through the small waves..amazing to experience. I didnt want to get out lol. I loved it so much, I went back in for a second dip, towards the end of the morning – I was already wet so, what the heck! – the second time was awesome too, the tide was coming in so the waves were a little bigger and faster…just my style! haha
Experiencing the joy for myself was one thing (I really felt my ‘childhood free spirit’ come out this morning) – but, seeing the joy, laughter and pure human spirit all around me this morning – so special to witness, and to be a part of it.
Days like this really take you back to what life is all about! 🙂 Amazing how healing and refreshing a ‘dip in the ocean’ really is!”
A huge THANK YOU to Ashley Robinson & the Alexandra Headlands Surf Lifesaving Club, Cr. Jason O’Pray & Sunshine Coast Council, 121 Care, Push Mobility, and to the amazing group of lifeguards, for making this amazing morning happen, and for having the vision and want for better beach access for all! SO blessed to live in such an amazing community here on our beautiful Sunshine Coast!
ANYTHING is Possible…when you have a ‘magical blue mat’ to help you make it happen!