Extreme Abilities

You're only as limited as you allow yourself to be


Adaptive Surfer, motivator, pioneer and differently abled trendsetter, 


In this blog, Extreme Abilities CEO and  T8 complete paraplegic shares his view of the world from the perspective of living life in a wheelchair, paralyzed from his chest down. Follow Dries Millard and read his exclusive blog on how exactly someone who is paralyzed can be independent and active like he is.


The gift that never stops giving

If someone tells you they will give you a gift that never stops giving, a few things might pop to mind. A tree, maybe? One with fruits. Or nuts. Then I can have nuts whenever I want. A gift that never stops giving. Yeah, that can work. If only all gifts given by gifts were nuts.

Eight years ago I received such a never ending gift giving gift. I got a wheelchair. Bitterest sweetest gift I’ve ever gotten, hands down. The sweet is so sweet I sometimes have to pinch myself to make sure this is reality. Lying on my board drifting behind the break, looking towards the beach and staring the giant Table Mountain straight in the face, just basking in the raw beauty of this life I’m living, thinking to myself, “this is my job”. Then the bitter makes me makes me wish I had someone or something to blame for giving me this stupid reality. It’s a constant, hard battle to maintain my personality between these two extremes, harder yet to find that balance for peace of mind in order to share some piece of mind without losing my mind. I tell you, the things you learn about yourself when you are thrown outside of your comfort zone and permanently kept there is just astounding. This in truth is the real sweetness about my never ending gift. You really get to know yourself without the chips on the shoulders.

The bitterness however derives from the most basic source and then shatters minds. My mind more precisely, and sometimes the minds of close friends or relatives who witness me getting my mind shattered. It has that effect. Being out of control is something I’m not very fond of, but as life goes, we seldom are. Control over certain things are for most of us a given certainty, standard practice if you will. For me some standard practices are, put politely, unconventional. You can only imagine the endless series of unfortunate events that can follow if you suddenly stop knowing when nature is calling you. When you can’t hear (or feel) nature calling, well it gets messy. It really breaks your mind to be so far out of control and have absolutely no way of regaining that control and learning how to live with that part of your life always fearing the worst. It always is the worst.

So yes, being paralyzed has parallel benefits and misfortunes, which never ends. The gift that never stops giving – it’s my life and I embrace it because I only have this one.

ExtremeDries - 17:26 @ Adaptive Surfing, Wheelchair Life, Being Paralyzed, The gift that never stops giving | 20 comments


Weekend Surf Report

Tune in to Radio Namakwaland every Friday just past 13:30 and listen to Dries Millard live, giving you the West Coast weekend surf report. Follow link for live online streaming.

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