I have been in a wheelchair since I was very young. I was born with a muscle disorder and my parents knew my life would be very different than the average child. One thing that I love is that my parents did not ever tell me I couldn’t do something. They said I should try everything I wanted to, at least once. Pretty much anything can be adapted if you try!
In the summer, as I have mentioned before, I love to be outdoors. I love to camp. I love to be out on the water with a paddle board, a kayak or a boat. And I still have so many things I want to try! Recently, I became very discouraged. I wanted to go solo camping. But not just solo camping. I wanted to try and figure out how to go car camping.
I went to a camp site at East Canyon Reservoir and I thought I had everything I needed. Plus, I was close enough to home that I could go home if things didn’t work out. Still, I was determined to make it happen. My friends were at a campsite nearby as well. I got my back seat set up and instantly knew I was going to struggle. The mattress blew up and was too tall for me transfer on to. There were some other frustrating moments as well. It really made me feel down. It didn’t work the way I had hoped. I felt very frustrated by it.
When I got home, I called my mom in tears. I told her how sad I was that I felt like I wasn’t going to able to do what I wanted. She gave me so many words of encouragement. She reminded me that I am always good at adapting and reassessing situations to make them work. She was right. I will try again. I will figure it out. I am grateful I have parents that continue to push me to try.
If I could tell parents of disabled kids anything I would tell them this: give your kids the courage to make their life magical. Encourage them to try everything. It’s worth it. There is too much magic in the world to miss out on because you are afraid or discouraged. Get out and find the magic!
About Kerri Knudson: Kerri lives in Utah with her daughter. She uses a 4Front® 2 Power Wheelchair and loves exploring the outdoors. Click here to learn more about Kerri.