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Hannah Shelmerdine's Story - The Joy of Sailing

by Hannah Shelmerdine 7 Dec 2019 06:00 PST
Hannah Shelmerdine talks about The Joy of Sailing © Rooster Sailing

The definition of Joy is "a feeling of great pleasure and happiness". This is exactly the feeling I experience whilst I am sailing. Everybody can see who I am when I am sailing... Hannah! Look beyond the disability, crack open the shell and here I am.

Sailing provokes a feeling of thrill. Every person needs to experience an adrenaline rush and the feeling of being alive; I highly recommend you find something that gives you this excitement!

The reason sailing gives me such a joyful feeling is that I become free of my disability and all its restrictions, leaving my wheelchair behind, and therefore being on equal terms with all the other sailors on the water, whether they are able bodied or disabled sailors. Some of you may be familiar with the book 'on equal terms'.

I experience a great joy in sailing when endeavouring to overcome challenges, whether physical, mental, social or emotional. I love that I am pushed to the very limits of what my disability will allow me to do. I love pushing boundaries and breaking down barriers, whether sailing at competitive level or sailing for pleasure.

Myself and the other sailors I work with within the sailing community are all learning from each other on a very steep but thoroughly enjoyable learning curve. I broaden their experiences and they broaden mine. We all enhance each other's lives.

Sailing gives me something to strive for. I have gained friends within the sailing community. Each and every person whether disabled or able bodied needs to feel that they belong, and are a valued part of society. Everybody has something to give, they just need to be given that opportunity, and when they get it be sure to grab it with both hands!

Open your eyes and your mind and think outside the box. I love what I do and am very privileged to do it.

Read the rest of Hannah's story, about Bolton Sailability and her dreams, on the Rooster Blog

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