The Challenges of Walking During Winter

Jan 03, 2011
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It’s Winter, so snow and ice is to be expected. I started my day early with a walk to a doctor’s appointment. I was bundled up with a hat, scarf and my winter boots. It was icy and wet and there were puddles of slush on the streets and near the sidewalks. I managed to walk with no trouble, and even glided through a portion of a sidewalk that hadn’t been cleared.  All I needed to do was to cross the street, and I would be home free. And then it happened. I knew it was going to happen! I fell in the middle of the street in a huge area of dirty, wet, slush.

It wasn’t the end of the world, but I was so furious. And of course it  happened just a few feet away from my destination. A perfectly good morning ruined. I was so mad, mainly because I got wet and dirty. And the other reason, I was so prepared and so careful up to that point. It wasn’t even that icy. But, I knew it was because  I had lost my balance – due to having cerebral palsy.

Once, I started to dry off, I began to calm down. I realized that it was done and over with – and there was nothing I could do. It happened and will happen again in the future.  During the winter time, it can be difficult and even dangerous for people with physical disabilities trying to walk in hazardous weather. And no matter how prepared you are to fight against the elements of snow, sleet and ice, falling may happen at some point.

So my advice is to be extra careful and go slow. If you have to walk somewhere, try to get someone to walk with you. And if you can’t, request someone who works in the building to meet you outside somewhere to assist you the rest of the way. This of course is something I should have done and will next time.

Another suggestion that may help you to walk through ice and snow is to purchase winter traction devices. There are several different types and brands, most types will just slip onto your winter boots and tennis shoes. These devices will require some strength and hand dexterity to pull and stretch the device onto your shoes and some brands  may be easier than others. Below is a list of companies that make winter traction devices.

Winter Traction Devices, Ice Cleats, Snow Cleats, or Stabilicers.
http://www.polarcleats.com/
http://www.walkonice.com/
http://www.yaktrax.com/

Author: Jenny Carlton