Last month I completed a weeks voyage on the Lord Nelson. To say I was a little nervous about it was a massive understatement. I am paralysed from the chest down and since coming out of hospital a year ago I had rarely left my adapted apartment and now here I was on a tall ship out to sea with 40 people who i’d never met before. I had no idea how I was going to cope especially after seeing my cabin with bunkbeds. Just working out how I would get in and out of it filled me with fear. Over the next couple of days I really struggled. I was treated as a working member of crew like everyone else but my mindset had been so negative over the past year I felt that I couldn’t join in with anything due to my disability.
That all changed when I hoisted myself out of my wheelchair up the main mast to the look out point. When I got to the top absolutely shattered I heard the whole ship cheer and when I sat there taking in the breathtaking view everything suddenly seemed to click. Gone was the negativity and the constant “I can’t don’t this” rattling around my head. I then spent the rest of the voyage getting involved in all aspects of sailing the ship, opened up a lot more and met some great people. By the time the voyage ended I didn’t what to get off which was a massive change from 7 days before when I didn’t want to get on.
The best thing about this trip was that I have carried on the “I can do this” attitude since coming home which is greatly improving my quality of life.
Thank you to everyone at the JST and all of the Lord Nelson Crew for making this possible.