Link June 2017 Vol 26 Issue 3 - Page 40

cerebral palsy venessa’s crazy climb By Amy Park Venessa Crane has a love for adventure, and has previously pushed herself in the sports of swimming, yoga, and hand cycling. Her ventures and creativity also stretch to photography, clay- modelling, painting and craft, as well as managing part-time work. But Venessa’s latest conquest was huge; a 2,282-metre climb of Mt Kosciuszko in February. The peak in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales is the highest point above sea level in mainland Australia, her for this trial, but also some “I was in a lot pain about half down with the nine-kilometre walk modifications needed for her the mountain. I was trucked by a winding up to the summit. wheelchair to ensure it could National Parks ranger vehicle part handle the rocky terrain. of the way back down, and people Venessa, who has cerebral palsy and were worried I’d been badly hurt. I uses a wheelchair, took about nine “I needed to use an outdoor was just physically exhausted from hours to complete the climb. She wheelchair with extended chassis the wheelchair and my walk up to says the preparation was extensive. that could be pushed and pulled the top. up rough rocky slopes. “There was a lot of time in the “But there were people watching gym for about a year beforehand,” “It was very different to my usual as we got closer to the finish, so I Venessa, 41, said. comfortable powered wheelchair, decided I would walk again to get and I had to get used to sitting in across the finish line, and I was “My exercise physiologist had this other wheelchair and being crying, and I felt every little step. returned from the Krazy Kosci hauled over rugged terrain. Klimb at the start of last year, and “I no longer cared about the pain came back on a high, saying how “Extra straps were also needed, or tiredness, I saw the people awesome the adventure had been and my footplates had to be cheering me across the finish line, for her. She just sold the idea to adjusted for safety.” and I believed I could do anything. Venessa admits that there was a “I had an amazing team that me, and she knew I would be up for the challenge.” 38 lot of satisfaction in completing looked after me, and we went For Venessa, there wasn’t just the c limb, but it wasn’t all through a lot together, I couldn’t preparation to physically prepare smooth sailing. have done it without them.” cerebral palsy