Rolling around the Scottish Countryside with SimplyEmma
I was diagnosed at the age of 9 with Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD), which is a progressive muscle wasting condition. It specifically affects the shoulder, upper arms, and hip muscles. Over the years I have gradually gotten weaker, losing the ability to do simple things such as lifting my arm to brush my hair, touch my nose and so on.
Although things can be extremely difficult at times and I need help with almost everything 24/7, I have never let it stop me from doing what I want to do. I even have an adventurous side that I need to feed from time to time. Accessible skiing, wheelchair abseiling, swinging from 40 ft. in the air on a giant swing, ziplining across a river and floating in the ocean in a beach wheelchair in sunny Barcelona are just a few of things I have tried in the past few years.
As much as I love nature, being outdoors and discovering accessible walks, I still felt like I was missing out on something. That something was the beautiful tracks and trials that are usually inaccessible to people like me who are wheelchair users, as well as people with limited mobility and the elderly.
There are so many areas around the countryside that are unsuitable for standard wheelchairs and that is a frustrating feeling for disabled people that want to explore and enjoy nature with their friends and family. I know it was for me!
So when I discovered there was an organisation that specialises in opening up the countryside to everyone with all-terrain wheelchairs, I jumped (not literally) at the chance to try it out. Based in Callander, Scotland, Trossachs Mobility offer the opportunity to explore the countryside with zero barriers to accessibility.
I was able to drive along uneven ground, climb hills and even steps. Never in my life have I been able to climb and descend steps in my wheelchair, but it was an absolute breeze with the all-terrain wheelchair. The size of the wheels and the power of the all-terrain wheelchair makes all sorts possible and I highly recommend people give it a go.
The fact I don’t have to worry about my wheelchair getting dirty and dragging mud into my house after a walk is a huge bonus for me.
I’m always on the lookout for other accessible activities to try out. At the moment I’m not sure what the next one will be, but I can’t wait to find out.