Get happy

Marni's health/happiness challenge: Living an unfettered life on wheels

Marni Abbott


Bio 37, Basketball coach, Paralympic medalist, bungee-jumper

I keep moving I became a paraplegic after a skiing accident when I was 18, but I’ve always stayed active. I do lots of stretching, lift weights, swim and play basketball, and I just joined a recreational curling team. Physically, it means that my daily activities—getting out of bed or into the tub—are less frustrating. Emotionally, it gives me so much more self-confidence and self-esteem.

Do what you think you can’t A few years ago, I went bungee jumping, wearing a special harness that let me descend like a spider from a web. I was scared out of my mind, but then there was such a feeling of serenity. I’m also the only disabled athlete on a recreational volleyball team called The Silly Girls. We’re all pretty goofy. And going waterskiing at my family cottage every summer—that’s one of my all-time favourite sports.

Talk to kids I love sharing my love of basketball with other people. I volunteer coach a recreational junior wheelchair basketball team for athletes with disabilities and I feel like a role model for the kids. We’re not just teaching them basketball skills; they’re learning about quality of life and independence. And it’s fun!

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