Life After SCI: Series Article 3/5

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Explorers in a New World of Extreme Adventures with Karim Ladki of 9Lives Adventures

Editor’s Note: No one goes through life without problems. However, the living of life isn’t about the problems you have, but rather what you do with those problems and how you turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Once you look around and see the difficulties other people are facing, you’ll recognize that the things you’re dealing with aren’t nearly as important or as tough as problems other people have. But another key part of having a great life is seeing and learning how others have dealt with their physical challenges, overcome them and used those challenges for the betterment of mankind. This is the story of Karim Ladki of Vancouver, Canada, the founder and owner of 9Lives Adventures, Inc., who has decided to give everyone the adventures they seek, regardless of their physical concerns.  Part 3 of a 5-part series.

Ladki: One of the most-memorable adventures I’ve personally been on was a skydiving adventure where we had four people in wheelchairs, three of whom never before had been skydiving. This adventure was one in which they

Karim has always been an avid thrill seeker and adventure traveler.

Karim has always been an avid thrill seeker and adventure traveler.

really wanted to participate – the type of activity that 9Lives very much wanted to make available to individuals with physical challenges.

The only modification that we really had to do was to duct-tape their knees and their ankles, and the rest of the skydive was pretty much like any other type of tandem skydive, with an instructor hooked-up to the jumper. No one was alone when he or she left the plane, although they felt like they were. I’ll have to admit. I was really uptight; probably more uptight than the wheelchair jumpers were.

Once they all landed safely, I probably breathed a bigger sigh of relief than they did. That’s a high-adventure trip that really sticks out in my mind, because I feel like we broke a barrier there that I don’t know if any other tour operator has ever broken.

We opened-up a high-adventure sport, although the world had pretty much decided that, “Skydiving is not for wheelchair users.” Now we know there are few barriers left for individuals in chairs.

Once these guys landed, I videoed them, and their faces were explosive. They were so excited and so full of joy they hardly could contain themselves. They knew that they had helped to break the barrier for individuals in wheelchairs or with any-other type of physical disability. They were like the astronauts who went into outer space and crashed a barrier that had existed for many years, not only for themselves, but also for the generations who would follow them.

See the footage from 9Lives Adventures first skydiving expedition:

If you don’t think that’s extreme, I’ve also been with some individuals who have BASE jumped (wearing a packed parachute to jump from fixed objects) in their wheelchairs. These kinds of people are those getting in touch with 9Lives Adventures now.

We’ve found that there are people all around the world who are adventure seekers and want to pursue what can be done by individuals with physical challenges. We’ve had some really-extraordinary individuals.

What we’ve learned since we’ve started 9Lives Adventures is that there’s an army of physically-challenged people all over the world who thrive on pushing the limits of what can be done with the physically challenged. These explorers, pioneers and adventure seekers are the ones who truly believe there are no limits, and we are here to find all of them through the 9Lives project.

The best way to get in touch with us is through the 9Lives Adventures, Inc.’s webpage: My personal email is

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One Response to Life After SCI: Series Article 3/5

  1. Christine Parisella says:

    We are a non profit and create adventures for kids with special needs and their families. we are going to be in Niagara Falls area in August and looking to connect with others with special needs and host an adventure. 
    Any interest in helping us out or connecting us with anyone who might want to help us create an off the grid experience. We serve any child with special needs, austim to wheel chair bound….

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