Yesterday I went surfing.
Back up. I got down on the beach for the first time since I could walk independently. (5-6 years ago). This was due to a fantastic invention called a beach wheelchair, which is available for use at Oakura Beach (ask Tracey Coker of Parafed Taranaki).
Halberg Sports and Parafed organise this event every year, but this is my first time going. I found out about it because I go to Christian Fellowship For Disabled organised by Richard West, who took the photos (thanks tons).
In order to get me into the sea, I had to lie on my tummy on a big, yellow, polystyrene surfboard. Six people carried me into the waves. 5 men and 1 woman.
When we were going out, the waves splashed in my face. I had to breathe between waves. A couple of times as the surfboard mounted a wave, my chin crashed on the board, so the lady told me to keep my head up. It was good advice, beacuse I didn’t hit my chin again.
After countless times going out and surfing back- my guess is about 7 times, someone agked if I would like to stop or keep going. I said I thought it might be a good idea to stop. I was exhausted, but it was great fun!
The volunteers carried me on the board onto the beach. Coming out of the water was a bit cold, but I was really glad of my Auntie’s thermal rash top, so it wasn’t too bad. They laid the board beside the beach chair. I couldn’t even manage to roll myself onto my side on that board- being tired and wet. So they picked me up and put me into the beach chair.
It was a great morning. I made two good friends with Christian ladies who helped me, and although I should have made more of a effort to talk to some of the other girls in wheelchairs, I think it was worthwhile. I shared the Gospel with two intermediate girls, and was given a saussage as part of my lunch.