Overcoming The Challenges Of Physical Disability

For some individuals, physical disability is not enough to stop them from enjoying their passions. Paddy Gallagher used to be a British Army Infantry soldier who served alongside Irish guards for 8 years. Paddy was actually born in the UK but moved with his family to Achill Island when he was just 2 years old.

When Paddy moved back to the UK in 2005, he joined the British Army and served on operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. While on a night patrol in Afghanistan, an improvised explosive device exploded and Paddy lost his right leg below the knee. The experience did not destroy Paddy’s hopes because after leaving the army, he started looking for new challenges to undertake.

Paddy soon learned about Row2Recovery and the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. The selection process was quite rigorous but Paddy was selected for the final tour. Before Christmas 2015, Paddy and his team left La Gomera in the Canary Islands and arrived in Antigua after 46 days, 6 hours and 49 minutes.

Why did it take them so long to travel from La Gomera to Antigua? Paddy and his team rowed 3,000 miles of the Atlantic Ocean and ranked 8th among the 26 participants. Paddy’s team was the first physically disabled team of 4 that managed to row through an ocean completely unsupported. This earned for the team a Guinness World Record.

After competing in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge, Paddy became confident that he can attempt a solo transatlantic trip. However, the solo expedition has its share of many challenges with the most difficult, being in isolation. It is difficult to be alone for prolonged periods in a confined space.

Safety on board must be given importance since there won’t be anyone to support Paddy in case of emergencies. The trip will require a lot of discipline and motivation so that people with disabilities will have an inspiration to meet challenges.

If you are planning on a holiday, one of your best destinations is La Gomera in the Canary Islands. There are lots of things to do on La Gomera that includes exploring the island and experiencing food and wine in local restaurants.