Friedreich’s Ataxia News Forums Forums Living With FA Beaches Are Not For Me

  • Beaches Are Not For Me

    Posted by matt-lafleur on May 29, 2019 at 8:01 am

    I don’t know if anybody else feels this way, but I really dislike going to the beach.

    I think it’s the general inaccessibility of it- the sand, especially. It’s impossible to get around easily in a wheelchair!

    I know there are beach wheelchairs and some accessible beaches, but what do you think? Do you like going to the beach? If so, do you have any tips to make it more enjoyable?

    clester replied 4 years, 8 months ago 12 Members · 20 Replies
  • 20 Replies
  • Deleted User

    Deleted User
    May 29, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Bro I love going to the beach! I usually go to the pier in Redondo Beach. There’s no real trouble for me navigating around with my chair except a few stores that aren’t wheelchair accessible. I don’t go in the water because 1 I can’t swim and having ataxia makes it difficult for me to swim. 2 it’s just exhausting for me to change clothes especially when I’m wet. I still enjoy the beach and I make sure to lay in the sand and get me a tan. As far as tips that’s tough for me to give you because you don’t like going to the beach to begin with but just enjoy people you go with wether it be family, friends or meet people there. Enjoy good food is always a must!

  • jonathan

    Member
    June 2, 2019 at 10:19 am

    Beaches are doable with a scooter or chair, but it really depends on the sand. Most beaches have too much soft sand, which isn’t wheel friendly. Here in Daytona Beach, the sand is almost always packed down hard and tight. Vehicles drive onto it and park. My scooter easily rolls down the beach ramp and onto the sand. It also rolls through some wet sand/surf, but I have to be careful.

    I can’t really swim, but I’ll still get in the ocean. There’s a few annoying factors to overcome, though:

    1. Park the scooter far from the watermark.
    2. Dismount and make a far crawl to the water.
    3. Wave away folks who think they need to help me.
    4. Make peace with the fact that afterwards, I gotta make that long crawl back and I’m gonna be covered in sand.

    But anytime I overcome those mental obstacles (it’s 90 percent mental), and I submerge my head under a small wave, I feel powerful. It’s beautiful.

    • matt-lafleur

      Member
      June 2, 2019 at 12:08 pm

      That’s what I was hoping to hear. The entire time I was reading your reply I was thinking, “That’s a lot of work. Would it even be worth it?” Seems like it is to you. What’s the bigger benefit for you- the exercise or the facttttttt that you get to be there, on the beach?-

  • aimee-clifford

    Member
    June 2, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    There’s a beach in front of my house and I haven’t literally had sand in between my toes in years. I’ve been on the beach in my Argo, but I don’t get off of it. My neighbors just built me a beach chair and it’s amazing! I’ll be able to get in the sand and freezing cold water! Bring on the salt water tan 😎

    • matt-lafleur

      Member
      June 2, 2019 at 5:04 pm

      That sounds awesome! What kind of chair did they build?

  • jonathan

    Member
    June 2, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    I dunno. I mean, I don’t like exercise, but I like its results. And the beach is this big beautiful… thing. I have this delusional attitude that this beach was made for me. It’s my beach. I try to respect that fantasy by tolerating a few difficulties. It’s a weird psychological thing. When I do the hard stuff, I get rewarded — both chemically and spiritually.

    • matt-lafleur

      Member
      June 2, 2019 at 5:08 pm

      I love when you philosophize. LOL.

      But I really respect your way of acknowledging the unsavory parts of something, yet being willing to endure it for its beneficial results…

      i.e., exercise

      i.e., FA

  • ryan-slade

    Member
    June 3, 2019 at 11:30 am

    I still walk, but the sand saps ALL the energy I have put of my legs.

    On my honeymoon I had to nap everyday right after we walked on the beach, just to be able to move the rest of the day!

    • matt-lafleur

      Member
      June 3, 2019 at 11:32 am

      Sand is super hard for us ataxians, but also the waves! Did you go in the water on your honeymoon? hOW DID THAT WORK OUT?

  • shandra

    Member
    June 3, 2019 at 11:38 am

    The beach is my favorite place to be. Yeah it’s extremely difficult and exhausting to get on and off of it (because i am a person that still walks but cannot independently on sand) and the beaches where I am mostly have stairs and no accessibility. I do a lot of butt scooting and if I’m with someone I hang onto them for dear life lol. But that feeling of being in the warm salt water? It’s like nothing else. I actually just bought a new go pro and chest mount, so maybe I’ll make a POV video sometime of how I make it to the ocean 🙂

    • matt-lafleur

      Member
      June 3, 2019 at 11:43 am

      Now I am starting to question seeing if the beach is worth another shot.

  • danica

    Member
    June 3, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    I’m going to the Gulf in a couple of months for vacation and I have been a little nervous about how to navigate it. I use a walker, but thought it’d be pretty useless if the sand wasn’t tightly packed. I’m still more excited than nervous- it was my idea to go and I don’t want to limit myself.

  • giulio-carcano

    Member
    June 5, 2019 at 10:36 am

    My son and I gave up, the heat, the sand, the ignorant people, the parking is not possible. My son doesn’t want to go to the beach anymore.

    • matt-lafleur

      Member
      June 5, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      What does he enjoy doing instead?

  • lake-denk

    Member
    June 21, 2019 at 11:09 pm

    Anyone that knows me knows I’m part mermaid. I will do anything to get to the ocean which means through hot sand. I still can walk assisted so I put on water socks (my feet are super sensitive) and walk/get dragged (piggybacks sometimes). It is temporarily inconvenient but so worth it.

    • matt-lafleur

      Member
      June 22, 2019 at 3:01 pm

      I didn’t know you liked beaches…I assumed you were more of a LAKE person.

      Ba-dum-cha

      …I’ll see myself out.

  • brian-rhodes

    Member
    June 22, 2019 at 12:56 am

    Man, y’all should go to Texas beaches. There, sandy beaches have the consistency of wet concrete.

    • matt-lafleur

      Member
      June 22, 2019 at 2:58 pm

      I’m right next-door to Texas. Where are these???

  • Deleted User

    Deleted User
    July 2, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    About 10 years ago when I was on the beach, my husband would “pop a wheelie” while we were on the sand and it made it a lot easier to push me.

  • clester

    Member
    August 6, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    First time I took my wife to the beach in her power chair I had to have 3 guys help me get her out.
    She loves the beach though. I was able to lower her chair and tilt it forward enough so she could get her feet in the sand.
    I was hoping (before I lost my shop) to convert one of her old power chairs into a track chair that could have gotten her out into the sand and even the water,but that will never happen. And since they run about 15k makes something like that impossible to ever accuire. She is supposed to be getting a new chair in a couple of months so maybe I can find some big Balloon wheels for the chair she has now. We’ll see.

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