Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Lunacy, Of The Wheelie Kind

26 Oct 2011Aaron Fotheringham isn’t just another guy with a disability. He’s an awesome adrenaline junkie, who has more guts than most able bodied people!

Nicknamed ‘wheels’, Aaron is just about to turn 20, on the 8th November, he lives in Las Vegas, he was born with spina bifida and now uses a wheelchair to get around, but he has mastered his chair, in ways beyond your imagination...

From a young age, Aaron, who is the third of six adopted children in his family, reached most of his milestones at the same time as his able bodied siblings, but since he didn’t have the use of his legs, he just had to find another way of getting there. He didn’t let that stop him though, and learnt to use a walking frame, then crutches, from early on.

When Aaron was 8 years old, he used to watch his older brother Brian at the skate park, and after some prompting from his big brother to give the quarter pipe a go in his chair, he did, but not without some spills. These days, with years of practice up his sleeve, he now teaches kids how to perform tricks in their wheelchairs.

On June 13th 2006, at the age of 14, Aaron reached an exciting new milestone. He successfully landed his first back flip, in his wheelchair! And after posting footage of him performing his back flip on the internet, he gained a ton of fans, who all wanted to see more of him.

After two years of practice and perfecting his back flip technique, Aaron officially tried out for a Guinness World Record in 2008, and he became the first person in the world to successfully perform a back flip in a wheelchair.

Since his record, he has attracted even more attention from around the globe, and has now teamed up with Nitro Circus, which is a group of gutsy action sports athletes, who tour the world showing off their awesome skills. Nitro Circus is a mixture of men and women who are each experts in using their own ‘weapon’ of choice. There are roller blades, skateboards, bmx bikes, razor scooters, monster trucks and many more, but now, thanks to Aaron, they can add wheelchairs to the mix.

Aaron does tricks in his chair that I could only dream of... He can get himself up and down stairs, slide down stair rails, get big air, and perform 360’s, plus many more tricks that have cool skate-y names that I don’t know. But to check him out for yourself, and to see him doing his world record breaking wheelchair back flip, I urge you to visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWJhF7yfnI4 also feel free to check out Nitro Circus too: http://nitrocircuslive.com/

Although the video I have attached is called wheelchair skateboarding, Aaron prefers the term ‘extreme sitting’. He now has many younger followers in wheelchairs who are keen for him to teach them a thing or two, and who knows, it may be the beginning of a new wheelchair sport craze.

Watching Aaron’s videos makes me feel like I could do anything in my chair, but I’m afraid I can’t, due to my extremely brittle bones, so you won’t be seeing me attempting any wheelchair grinds or drop ins anytime soon!

The VERY cute Aaron Fotheringham

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