Rider Spotlight: Nate Johnson

"I continue to enjoy my adventures with the Freedom Chair.  The past few weeks I have had the thrill of telling friends, family and community members that I’ve been spending my time doing something that I have never been able to do before, that is moving a manual wheelchair [the Freedom Chair] independently.  It’s a great way for me to get exercise in the back yard.  

I’m amazed at how much I’ve improved in such a short time.  I am able to go up small inclines now, whereas when I first started I would not even have thought of trying anything but very easy terrain.  I have also been able to go for several adventures with my family; these turn out to be both fun and productive.  While I get more help on the family hikes, I find when somebody is pushing me I must keep my arms all the way forward on the levers so that I don’t put the brakes on accidently.  This is in turn stretching my arms, especially my right, which is my more affected side.  I honestly believe that my brief time using the Freedom Chair has already increased the range of motion on my right side.

Moreover I am really excited because using the Grit Freedom Chair is only the beginning of the journey.  Now I can contribute to NQTA’s innovative trail rating system which considers the person with a disability, the type of equipment being used and the too often forgotten caregiver.  So stay tuned as we will soon be giving reports on trails so that hikers of all abilities will better understand the trails that can work best for them."

- Nate Johnson

"An update on what we’ve been doing with the GRIT Freedom Chair with Nate. He uses it out on our lawn just for exercise and we don’t have to travel anywhere and I can transfer him by myself. It’s really great. We’ve been to the Quabbin twice. It’s been years since we’ve gone for a walk there.

This weekend we went with Nate’s brother and his 5 year old and we had a very enjoyable outing. Nate propelled himself some of the time and my husband and I took turns pushing. I was surprised how easy it was to push and I could even jog and push the chair and it wasn’t hard. On the hills Nate assisted and I was amazed at how much easier that made going uphill. Nate’s brother Josh can’t wait to try taking him up Tully Mountain, a place Josh spent a lot of time in his early years but a place Nate couldn’t go. This chair is turning out to be an adventure for us all!"

- Sandy, Nate's Mom & Caretaker

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The GRIT Freedom Chair is the most versatile chair on the market, designed from the ground up to handle any terrain. From trails to grass to snow, the Freedom Chair is built for you to push yourself. Born out of research at MIT, the Freedom Chair's patented easy-push levers reduce shoulder strain and put you in control of your mobility. Ready to hit the trails.  Learn more about the GRIT Freedom Chair at www.gogrit.us