Inaugral Adventure Camp “Freewheel Whistler 2011” Goes Off!

 

Eleven young individuals who have sustained life changing spinal cord injuries came together for a three day adventure camp in Whistler this weekend.   The camp provided three days of of adrenaline, adventure, bonding, and new experiences for a group of young adults who are in the process of figuring out to navigate life with a new and challenging physical disability.  Each of the participants have all shared a dramatic life changing experience in the past five years- they are wheelchair users between four months and three years post spinal cord injury.

 

Campers and Volunteers traveled from all over British Columbia, Calgary, California and Ontario to attend the camp. The camp was fully subsidized for campers by the Live It! Love It! Foundation’s Keg fund ($25 000 granted by the Keg Steakhouse earlier this summer).

 

The weekend began on Thursday afternoon with introductions and a presentation on fear and longing by para- sport mental training coach John Coleman (Canmore, AB) and a delicious BBQ at the Athletes Village in Whistler. Dinner was followed by a quick bonfire for the Campers near the Cheakamus River.

 

By 10:00am friday morning the Live It! Love It! Crew was overlooking the Cal Cheak River getting harnessed up to fling themselves off a bridge with Whistler Bungee. With Go Pro’s (headcams) on their chairs, each and every camper took a turn diving or backflipping off the bridge. Apparently the bungee stoke was contagious, by noon almost every family member, volunteer and friend had signed a waiver to jump to bungee!

After Bungee Jumping the crew gathered at Wayside Park to refuel and relax. The sun was shining and a few of the boys raced their wheelchairs off the end of the dock into the lake. The rest of the group ate lunches compliments of Creekside Market, checked out the go pro footage from Bungee Jumping and chilled out on the grass.

At 2:30pm volunteers from Whistler Adaptive Sports Program came over to escort the group to Captain Holiday’s cabin for a kayaking session. Friends showed up in canoes and kayaks and volunteers and instructors from WASP were amazing getting everyone in boats and on the water.

The afternoon was spent working on paddling skills, wet exits, t- rescues and playing an intense round of kayak polo between the docks. The group paddled until 6:30pm and then booted back over to the park for a Chili cookout.  Stuffed with more delicious food everyone headed back to the Athletes Village for another mental training session with John and called it a night.

 

Saturday morning. 8:30 am and Whistler ATV had everyone set up on quads to go for a rip. For two hours they flew up the Callaghan Valley  to some gorgeous views, rode around the logging roads, splashed through creeks and back down to the base. With dusty faces, muddy feet and big smiles everyone congregated at the bottom for lunch and Live It! Love It! trivia for prizes from CLIF Bar.

After lunch the crew dispersed, some heading to Whistler Village, some home for a nap and some to the lake for another swim. At 4:00pm they reconvened at Wildplay Element Parks at Cougar Mountain to attach the Zoom Ziplines. Accompanied by an unreal team of helpers, the campers put on full body harnesses, were helped into an old military truck and brought up to the lines. With the help of some strong backs and a trailrider to get up a steep ramp all of the Campers clipped into the ziplines and were sent off. They rallied all over the park and back into the truck to come back down the road.

Afterwards  the group 35 campers, friends and family headed over to Creekbread in Whistler for pizza and beer and to celebrate an awesome two days. Most of the party relocated to the village after dinner for a free Sam Roberts concert and rocked out in the Olympic Plaza.

Sunday- The final day of the camp. Breakfast was met with a few goodbyes as some of the Campers headed to Pemberton Soaring Center to go soaring in a glider plane around the Pemberton meadows. The rest headed to Squamish where they met up with quadriplegic climber Brad Zdanivsky who was hosting a climbing session at the Jericho wall with his special climbing rig for quad and paraplegics. Everyone took their turn muscling themselves the top of the wall as climbers walked by and stared in awe at the remarkable feat of climbing using only upper body.    Views of the Squamish Chief and surrounding area were taken in by everyone as they rested at the top before the belay down.

The camp closed with talk of reunions and the next adventure as  the sun set over the Sea to Sky Highway Sunday evening. It was a beautiful weekend of many firsts, many smiles and many amazed bystanders as a group of super charged paraplegics and quadriplegics bungee jumped, ziplined, dove into lakes, kayaked, four wheeled and climbed up mountains. Congratulations to all of the Campers for testing their limits and living and loving every minute of it!

Freewheel Whistler 2011 would not have been possible without:

The Keg Steakhouse
Whistler Adaptive Sports Program & Volunteers
CLIF Bar
Creekside Market
John Coleman
Whistler ATV & Ben Thompson
Whistler Bungee
Wildplay (The Adventure Group)
Brad Zdanivsky
Meal Crew: Sarah Lynch, Rod Megill, Simone Lehane
Volunteers: Tom Hall, Dirk Gidney, Jeff Thompson, Britt, Pam McGauley, Rob McGauley, Chris McGauley, TJ Bickerton, Gordon Timm, Cody Haggard, Chris Colpitts, Pierrot Berniet, Cindy Drouin, Nadia Samer, Austin Ross, Amy Ross, Sue Ross, Jeff Crompton, Casey Brown, Andy Winkler
Film & Photography: Zoya Lynch, Kristy Strang, Russ Herman

The incredible:  Mike Seinen, Ethan Krueger, Stan Ho, Blake Jamieson, Jeff Scott, Landon McGauley, Amanda Timm, Tristan Smyth & Caleb Brosseau.

 

 

 

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Flossin Socks.

I’m back up North and it’s salmon season. We load up and head to Hazelton. On our way to the river we pick up a couple strong backs and make a break for it. We pass one fishing hole loaded with people and hit the end of the road up zipper mouth creek. One other truck and we can’t see the driver on the river. It’s all ours.  For now… it’s still before noon so we’re makin’ a PB on time. 

Almost there. The river is down a muddy embankment which ends in a mid thigh deep pool of water and across some big river rock. Three capable friends make it happen. 

I sit. They fish. Very simple. Too simple. So simple, they don’t catch anything. 

As we’re talking about how fun the way back is gonna be an old friend’s Dad happens by.
“un deux trois”
He says, something to the effect of I’m glad I ran into you guys, I was getting bored catching fish all by myself. 
Difference between what he was doing and fishing is, he was catching fish. We were just fishing.
Anyways, he got all excited and really wanted to catch a fish and let me fight it. Within five minutes, I was wranglin’ a fish. And another, and he then proceeded to put on a bit of a clinic. 


When we were all fished out I got loaded into his boat and got taken upstream to a boat launch.  I rejoined the boys there. All in all a good day by the river.


Big thanks to Cody, Jake, Derek, Michel and Simone!

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Mmmmmwhiskey

You bring the Mmm we’ll supply the Whiskey at Amiskwi. A little hole in the wall backcountry lodge just North of Golden.

We go for a gorgeous flight over some knife edge ridges and turquoise colored lakes and we’re there. With a view of the Mummery glacier from the dinner table we set up shop for a few days of relaxing, reading and hanging out with the mosquitoes. It’s stunning.

Thanks to Pat and pilot Mark for getting us up there!

packing the chair




Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

At The Lake

A week long retreat with spiritual and meditation brainchild Carlos de Leon. Saying he’s forgot more than most of us will know wouldn’t work cause don’t think he’s forgotten anything. He knows why the pyramids were built and how to use them..

We’re around this guy listening, meditating and eating 7 am to 11pm. He’s got loads of info, so much we have to nap and take it in subconsciously. We’re sleeping in our van so you can imagine, by the end of the week it’s time to blow off some energy in another fashion. Sort of. Couple of friends in the course feel the same way. Obvious solution, race voyager canoes to the end of the lake and back. Our guide was Jeff. Jeff got us out of the gates like a B outta H. He then became more interested in converting kilometers into miles for a Yankee that snuck into our boat… We didn’t get back first, but we did learn all about something.



The Other Lake.
After a week of parallel universes, Chi Kung, 8 translations of the same verse in the bible from Arabic to English and 5 star meals it was time to go to a lake all to our selves just south of Golden and digest it all. And get a mustache trim.



Big thanks to Carlos, John, Siri, Josh, Lacey, Simone, our canoe guide Jeff and all the new friends we met along the way!

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

THANK YOU MONASHEE UNIT CREW!

Live It! Love It! is sending everyone on the Monashee Unit Crew in Revelstoke BC a humongous Thank You for all of their hard work organizing, promoting and executing the 5th Annual Fire Fighters Hard Labour Auction. See the Press Release from organizer Erik Hanson:

MONASHEE UNIT CREW RAISES $2200 FOR THE LIVE IT! LOVE IT! FOUNDATION!

Revelstoke B.C.- The 5th Annual Fire Fighters Hard Labour Auction concluded last Friday raising $2200 for the Live it! Love it! Foundation. The highest bidders were Bette Todd and Bud Mackenzie from Revelstoke B.C. The couple set all 20 crewmembers to work for 8 hours spacing timber and landscaping their property near Mars Creek. The crew is currently in Revelstoke working on a fuel management project near Begbie Falls and headed out to complete the auction work during a day off this last Saturday.

The Live it! Love it! Foundation was created by Monashee Unit Crew member Jeff Scott and his partner Izzy Lynch after Jeff sustained a spinal cord injury last spring. Jeff spent the last year in the hospital recovering as well as exploring the limits of what is possible in with his injured body. As a quadriplegic Jeff has bungee jumped, sit skied, dog sledded, participated in wheelchair rugby and traveled across Canada promoting the Live it! Love it! Foundation. The goal of the foundation is to get athletes with new spinal injuries out and active; to inspire through adventure. The foundation will be facilitating this by hosting an adventure camp for paraplegics and quadriplegics this fall in Whistler. In addition, they will be establishing bursaries to help people with spinal injuries afford  the equipment they need to participate in sport.

The Live it! Love it! Foundation continues to accept donations through the website at www.liveitloveit.org.

For further information please contact the Monashee Unit Crew @ 250 814 9719.

Erik Hanson

Monashee Unit Crew, Revelstoke B.C.

Work: 250.837.7182

Cell: 250.814.9719

Email: revelstokefireauction@gmail.com

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stem Cells? This is LILI friend Jonathan Dieleman’s Story

From: ANewsVanIsland July 13th 2011
Meribeth Burton

26-year old Jonathan Dieleman has an easy smile and a tireless work ethic. Raised on a cattle farm in Smithers, Jonathan was dirt biking last year when he hit a rock and broke his back. Jonathan was diagnosed a T-5 paraplegic – he couldn’t move from the chest down.

3 months ago Jonathan travelled to China where his own stem cells were mixed with stem cells from a donated umbilical cord and injected in his body. Immediately after, Jonathan says he gained more core strength and stability.

Jonathan moved to Victoria to train at a special gym called Path SCI. Doctors in China were clear – recovery would only come with hard work. Jonathan exercises every day in the hopes that as the injected stem cells replaced the deadened ones – his brain to muscle communication is restored.

Last week for the first time since his spinal cord injury – Jonathan pedaled a stationary bike under his own steam. He still doesn’t understand how this breakthrough was achieved.

Watch Jonathan Dielman’s Story: watch?v=v7VM76qbidE&feature=share

 

Posted in News | Leave a comment

WHISTLER QUESTION: New Adaptive Sports Camp to Launch In Whistler

Local News

New adaptive sports camp to launch in Whistler

Live it! Love it! partnering with WASP to offer adventure to young people with spinal cord injuries Recreation

July 14, 2011

Cori Alfreds
cori@whistlerquestion.com

Many people have bungee jumping or paragliding on their bucket lists, and 20 young campers with spinal cord injuries who are in wheelchairs will be able to cross the adventurous activities off their lists next month in Whistler.

A new adaptive sports foundation, Live it! Love it! (LiLi) has recently launched in Whistler in partnership with the Whistler Adaptive Sport’s Program (WASP) and a three-day, adrenaline-filled camp is set to begin in the resort on Aug. 25.

LiLi is a foundation that helps people with disabilities get back outdoors, allowing them to participate in recreational activities that push the boundaries of typical sports and the limitations of a disability.

Izzy Lynch, the founder of LiLi, said rather than concentrating on the more “traditional wheelchair sports” such as wheelchair basketball, LiLi will take campers zip lining, paragliding, snowmobiling, bungee jumping and much more.

Lynch and her boyfriend Jeff Scott have always been outdoorsy people, but all that was threatened when Scott was in a serious snowboarding accident in April 2010. He injured his spinal cord and is now in a wheelchair.

“We were totally overwhelmed (by) his new disabilities and thought ‘oh my God, is this the end to our life in the outdoors?’ And the more we talked to people, we found there are so many opportunities to do whatever you want,” she said.

While in rehab at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver, Scott and Lynch met Chelsey Walker, executive director of WASP. She helped Scott move to Whistler in order to maintain an active lifestyle with his disability.

“In the year that followed we were able to help Jeff find housing as well as get him back to sports. And through the year, Izzy and Jeff came up with the idea for the foundation and they wanted to work with existing programs like the Whistler Adaptive in order to help set up these camps,” Walker said.

The camp will be based out of the Whistler Athletes’ Centre at Cheakamus Crossing and the activities will be held all over Whistler — wherever adventure can be found. The camp is by invitation only and the campers are referred from GF Strong and other wheelchair organizations across B.C.

“It’s for people who are freshly injured — you must be within five years of your injury. We want to help people who are dealing with their new life. It’s a scary thing and you need a boost to get back into a positive state of mind,” Lynch said.

WASP, a non-profit society that offers recreational sports and activities for people with disabilities, is heavily involved with LiLi by providing equipment, expertise and guidance.

“We will have their equipment, their instructors and we will be using their programs to complete the vision of our camp,” Lynch said.

Lynch said she hopes the foundation will grow much bigger in the coming years with an entire team of adaptive adventures as well as an interactive website that follows the participants and tells their stories.

“The idea of the foundation is turn it into a bit of a Make-A-Wish Foundation. People will offer grants and people can apply online and they can design their dream adventure. We will do what we can to provide a support team and finance,” Lynch said of the future.

One of the most recent grants was $25,000 from the Keg to help get the August camp on its feet. For more info on Live it! Love it!, visit liveitloveitfoundation.com.

Posted in Press | 1 Comment

Farting of Light

Might be the arting of flight, either way that weightless feel you get when you’re in the air is hard to compare to anything. I’m going to attempt it here. When you drop a cliff into water or snow, launch yourself on a bike or get double bounced on a trampoline you get that moment. The moment where you have not another care in the world you are floating, you are free. I found bungee jumping to be along the same line. There was one thing however I could compare it to… And although i haven’t had the pleasure of this other experience I hope to one day….if it’s the last thing I do.
I was picked up off the deck of the bridge and was revoked the moment of hesitation, the hesitation you get when you jump into a cold body of water or into a game of double dutch. In that time you take to reevaluate the decision you are about to make might only be a second or two… or you might reconsider entirely. Well they picked me up and over the railing I went, straight into a cloud. A shrinking cloud it seemed,  as each time I bounced it unfortunately took less time to float over to the other side.
Here’s hoping that when I go it’s right into a cloud that has equal and unrestricted travel time wall to wall.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Live It! Love It! awarded $25 000 from Keg Steakhouse

While on a roadtrip the LILI crew was told about the Keg Steakhouse 40th anniversary Thanks A Million Campaign where the keg would be awarding grants to organizations dedicated to building and bettering communities across Canada.

We applied and following a month of daily online voting by our dedicated supporters we have been awarded a grant of $25 000!!!

Funds received from the Keg Steakhouse will be used to host “Freewheel Whistler” Live It! Love It!’s first Adaptive Adventure Camp from August 25th-28th for twenty young wheelchair users who have sustained spinal cord injuries in the past five years.

In cooperation with the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program, the camp will be complete with a line up of adventure activities, bonfire, cook outs, presentations from experienced adaptive adventurers and Para-athletes and more. “We were inspired and motivated by the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program and all of their amazing programming and resources and wanted build on the options for people with disabilities to live active lives and get outside. Now we are working together to make it happen”.

The camp will be fully subsidized by LiLi. “Life changing injuries come with a lot of costs beyond just the physical ones. Someone who sustains a spinal cord injury suddenly has to spend money on expensive medical equipment, medications, care support and making their homes, vehicles and lives accessible. Stress about financing basic necessities often takes over and sporting equipment and adventure is put on the backburner as it is just too expensive.  We believe that the benefits of getting outside and experiencing life are just as important and want this camp to be a stress free and exciting opportunity for the campers”.

At Live It! Love It! we believe that creativity, determination, planning and the right support network is all it takes and any adventure is possible. “We want people to dream big and believe in the possibility of the expeditions they’ve only imagined”.

Stay tuned for more info on Freewheel Whistler!

 

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Wildland Firefighters Auction Off Hard Labour

WILDLAND FIREFIGHTERS AUCTION OFF HARD LABOUR TO RAISE MONEY FOR ATHLETES WITH SPINAL INJURIES

REVELSTOKE B.C.- The Monashee Unit Crew launches their 5th annual Firefighters Hard Labour Auction in Revelstoke B.C.  Funds raised during this silent auction will be donated to Live It, Love It! a non-profit organization that helps people with spinal injuries participate in sports. (http://liveitloveitfoundation.com/) Live it! Love it! founder Jeff Scott has been a member of the crew since 2005 and sustained a spinal cord injury while snowboarding last spring.

This wildfire crew, will be holding a two-week community auction starting Monday, July 4th, 2011. The crew, composed of twenty hardworking firefighters, will be auctioned off for a full 8-hour day. From building a shed, to cleaning your house, this fit and motivated crew of twenty is willing to do just about anything to help people in with spinal injuries get active again.

The auction board will be placed in the Revelstoke Home Hardware (201 Campbell St) and applicants can cast bids there during business hours. The auction will start on July 4th and close on Friday July 15th at 5:00pm. The winner will be contacted by July 15th and the details for the labour will be arranged.

This project is a fundraising tradition for the firefighting crew, which in past years has raised over $25,000 for organizations such as The Rik Hansen Foundation and the B.C. Children’s Hospital. When asked about the event, Ashleigh Gulkiewich, Philanthropy Coordinator for B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation said, “We applaud the Unit Crew’s effort – it is truly inspirational!”

Wildland firefighters are known for working some of the world’s most gruelling days. As demonstrated recently in northern Alberta, this crew has proven their willingness to work hard for a cause that matters. Given this drive and determination to help, the Monashee Unit Crew is set upon donating their spare time to assist people with spinal injuries get active.

For more information, to offer donations, or to place bids by phone, please contact Monashee Crew Leader Erik Hanson.

Erik Hanson

Monashee Unit Crew, Revelstoke B.C.

Work: 250.837.7182

Cell: 250.814.9719

Email: revelstokefireauction@gmail.com

Posted in News | Leave a comment