It's a GRIT Life: Chapter 1 - Getting Started with GRIT

by: Nerissa Cannon

Version 2

One of the original Freedom Chair Trailblazers, Nerissa, now works full time with GRIT! Her own journey with chronic illness has made her very passionate about helping other people get the most out of life in spite of a disabling condition. In her new series, IT'S A GRIT LIFE, she shares how the GRIT Freedom Chair helps her engage in her favorite activities and live a life of adventure.


Hiking in the back country of Zion National Park before my illness struck.

Hiking in the back country of Zion National Park before my illness struck.

I've been very active my entire life - particularly in the outdoors. When I was 24 I started experiencing pain that wouldn't go away, as well as intermittent difficulty walking. As most people do, I pretended it wasn't happening and hid my struggles from those around me. Things got worse, though, and I was forced to acknowledge that something was going on with my health.

I began using a variety of mobility devices as my symptoms progressed. My wheelchair gave me the most relief from my symptoms, but I was limited as to where I could go. I discovered the GRIT Freedom Chair - an all terrain wheelchair. I knew that was the answer for me! I applied to their ambassador program and was SHOCKED to be selected. I was given the opportunity to use the Freedom Chair for a year in exchange for sharing my adventures. I walked dogs, participated in 5K races, and hiked all over Western Colorado.  

Me learning how to assemble the mechanical components of the GRIT Freedom Chair.

Me learning how to assemble the mechanical components of the GRIT Freedom Chair.

As my year with the Freedom Chair drew to a close, GRIT had a job opening at their headquarters in Boston. I had enjoyed working with them so much and was eager for more, so I applied, not really expecting to be chosen, but I was! I spent 6 months in Boston learning the ins and outs of the company as well as putting the Freedom Chair through it's paces. I'm a country girl at heart, so Boston was really not the place for me to put down permanent roots. So, I moved back to Southern Utah, and I call this place "home." I still work with GRIT, and I work hard to spread the word about this life-changing piece of equipment.

The first step when you get your GRIT Freedom Chair is, of course, unboxing it. A lot of people are nervous about this. They're worried about putting it together and doing it right, but it's really, really simple. I wanted to show you how I unboxed my Freedom Chair when I got back to Utah, so, let's get started!

You will get the mountain bike tires that come standard on the GRIT chair, but if you've ordered any extra wheels then you'll get the them in a separate box, they won't come in the same box. In my case, I ordered the Beach Wheels!

Fully assembled GRIT Freedom Chair!

Fully assembled GRIT Freedom Chair!

That's your GRIT Freedom Chair! It's really easy to put together. There's just the one screw that you have to assemble. Everything else is quick release buttons you use when you transport it. Very easy! A lot of new customers are afraid they won't be able to do it, but as you could see, I did it completely sitting down, and of course, GRIT's always there to answer any questions if you are having any issues. So, get your chair together and go out for your first ride!


To see more of IT'S A GRIT LIFE, checkout our YouTube Channel!