Braeden has been working hard at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Gym for the last three years. I remember going into the first session thinking we had nothing to lose if he didn’t like it but it was a success. I really didn’t know if he’d stick with it, but I always think it’s worth giving things a shot. You never know if you don’t give it a go. Thanks to the great team at CPA, and the encouragement from his support workers, Braeden really looks forward to his gym session each week. Braeden’s walking, strength and control have all improved since he started. I’m always looking for ways for Braeden to use his newfound skills and take them to the next level in a meaningful way. Although it’s great he can walk for 15 minutes on a treadmill, I don’t think that fills Braeden’s cup with joy. I’d been watching the growth of Frame Running (also known as Race Running) in Australia for a while and kept thinking we must give Braeden a go someday. Well, someday was a few weeks ago and so far it’s going really well. For those that haven’t heard of it, Frame Running is a sport designed for people with a physical disability who are not able to functionally run.
Frame Running – trialling a sport for people with a disability
Braeden has only had two sessions on the Frame Runner so it’s early days but he’s looking good and it would certainly be a great outlet for Braeden’s desire to be on the move constantly.
The Frame Runner trike is a custom built three-wheeled frame where Braeden is fully supported by a saddle. He is still getting comfortable with leaning against the chest support but he can propel himself with his feet well. No doubt steering will take a while, like it did with his manual wheelchair, but I know he will get the hang of it in time.
The Frame Runner was designed to provide people living with a disability with the freedom to move and run in a supported and balanced way without a walker. As a kid I remember the freeing feeling of two activities, swinging on a swing and running. There’s something about those things that make you feel so liberated, so I’m excited for Braeden to try Frame Running. I no longer feel the same about running by the way! I’m quite happy to walk.
We’ve decided to do Frame Runner sessions at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance for several reasons. The team know Braeden well and have the insider tips on how to motivate and work with him. Braeden can do Frame Running on the same day before his exercise physiology session (I love a bit of appointment efficiency) and the distractions for our Mr Social are already known. If we take Braeden to a new environment with a whole lot of people to mix with in the beginning, he’ll forget all about Frame Running and spend his time socialising. Hopefully we can get to the point where he can enjoy both at once, but while he’s learning to use the frame I think the Cerebral Palsy Alliance is the place to do so.
Frame Running is a sport that is taken up by children and adults with a variety of disabilities including cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy and people with general balance and mobility challenges.
Our hope for Braeden is that he continues to build on his physical strength and fitness. I think learning a new skill also provides a great opportunity for him and eventually we know he will love the socialising that will come from meeting others at the track to practice.
This is not a sponsored post. I always like sharing our experiences in case it is useful to our HWWT community.
If you’d like to find out more, contact Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Race Running Australia or dejay Medical (stockists of the Frame Runners). The Cerebral Palsy Alliance also offers come and try school holiday programs which you can read about on their website.
I’ll keep you updated on his progress in the coming months.