Saturday, June 06, 2009

Day 3 - No Barriers USA, Miami FL

Day three at this amazing festival in Coconut Grove was a clear skied, warm, agreeable day, unlike yesterday's torrential downpour.
But exhaustion has set in. I don't know how the volunteers at Shake A Leg do it... they're still smiling and helpful, with no signs of fatigue after two solid days of activities. We've logged some serious hours behind the lens already and I'm starting to eye these wheelchairs with envy. By the time I sat down today it was 7pm and I wasn't sure I could get back up. Thankfully it's 9:30 now and I'm in bed as I type. Life is good.

Let's see, where to start? Another symposium kicked off today with robotics, statistics, and a discussion of the baby boomer population's takeover in 2012, ironically the end of the Mayan calendar. The robotics were the interesting part, as Dr. Hugh Herr showed us his bionic ankle and foot that is fully integrated with with his smart phone. Apple, if you're listening, you should seriously pick up your iPhone. SuperHerr has been calling.
From there we hit the docks once again for more sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, paddleboarding, open water swimming, outrigger canoeing, yoga, tai chi, and some climbing on the wall.

Late in the day as the sun beat down on us and we needed shade, Craig and three others took lead from Darol Kubacz, who summited Mt. Kilimanjaro on his one-off handcycle (pic), and hit the flooded mangrove (I meant torrential when I said it!) for some "muddin.'" Splashing abound, they raced through the 12" puddle like 10 year olds; reaffirming Craig's ache to get one of his own. Hell, I'd love one. For someone unstable on a mountain bike, this machine (oh and it is a machine, with a motorcycle wheel on the back end, disc brake and all) is a serious crawler, any obstacle is defeatable, it's the Superman of handcycles.

We finished off the day with dinner and a movie - with a very well done Sesame Street opener about coping with a military injury in your family, "Coming Home." The movie was Eric Weihenayer's Blindsight about his incredible summit on Everest with six other blind Tibetan teenagers.

Tomorrow there are four excursions - to the beach and lighthouse, more sailing, horseback riding, and our choice - deep sea fishing. (...three hour tour....) And we're here till Monday. The fun isn't over people... stay tuned.

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