Being a wheelchair user can have its ups and downs. One of the ups is playing games in a wheelchair. For some events (like last weeks Pickleball) I can use either my power wheelchair or my power. There is an event called the Slolam, and basically it’s an obstacle course, both for manual chairs and power chairs.
My first Slalom was done in a hospital-issue wheelchair. I had to open, go through, and close doors, without knocking any little plastic pylons, and the course is done following a path from one obstacle to the next. It took me more than 10 minutes to get through that challenge. The second, and last time through a manual course, I was using a sports chair that was designed to fit me. I got through the course in just over 3 minutes.
I have done a lot of sports in a wheelchair but this one is the most challenging, I think. I have played slow-pitch softball, 9-ball (billiards with only balls 1-9, shooting at the balls in order), shot an air gun at targets, archery, bowling, track & field, and other things which I can’t think of now.
This autumn, I decided I would do the power course, laid out for differently, according to the athlete’s ability. There are three quad courses, and I’ve done several of them. This year, I was reclassified, and thus compete with people in a class that’s more competitive than the one that I did before.
The time was finally right, I put on my helmet (required), and I went through that course. It may be a little different from the obstacle course most people think of when they hear, “obstacle course.”