Push Across America! [Exclusive!]
Ryan Chalmers completes his inspiring trip across the United States.
Ryan Chalmers has used a wheelchair for his whole life. But that never stopped him from living an active life. He has played basketball, completed marathons, and learned to scuba dive. On April 6, he began a journey that no one has ever done before. He started to cross the United States in a wheelchair! And today, June 15, he made it all the way to New York City!
Starting in Los Angeles, Chalmers and his team have climbed mountains and pushed through deserts in order to arrive in New York. Along the way, Ryan (RC) stopped to talk to News-O-Matic (NOM) about his quest.
NOM: What was the hardest part of the trip?
RC: The hardest day was when we were pushing into the Death Valley desert in California.
NOM: What have been some of the most beautiful places of America that you have seen so far?
RC: I have found all the locations to be incredible, with each state offering something different. The beautiful Valley of Fire in Nevada is something I will never forget.
NOM: How did you build the strength to push so far each day?
RC: I have succeeded in part due to incredible coaching and my athletic trainer. What keeps me going is my love of wheelchair racing and my desire, passion, and commitment to Stay‐Focused.
NOM: What do you want to accomplish?
RC: 1) Raise awareness for the potential of all persons with disabilities, showing people we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. 2) Raise awareness for Stay-Focused, a group that enables teens and young adults with disabilities to scuba dive.
NOM: What would you say to someone who says you couldn’t do something?
RC: I wouldn’t find it necessary to respond at all. I would simply go out and prove them wrong.
By Russell Kahn
quest: adventure; journey
incredible: amazing; beautiful
commitment: promise; vow
Fact: To complete his journey, Ryan Chalmers passed through 14 states. He traveled about 55–60 miles per day.
Act: Follow Chalmers’ advice: “Never give up. Find what you are passionate about and what you love to do, set a goal for yourself, and go out and achieve it.”
Fun Fact: New York City recently created a program that lets people in wheelchairs ride taxis anywhere in the city!