The Gaylord Sports Association and Paradox Sports hosted an adaptive climbing event at Prime Climb in Wallingford Saturday, where climbers will a range of disabilities tested their skills.
There’s a lot of ways to climb, but no matter how you do it, there’s usually one goal: reach the top.
Twenty-five-year-old Jillian Harpin learned quickly that part is never easy.
"I was sweating. My arms hurt, my hands hurt, my fingers started getting numb," Harpin said of her first time trying the sport.
But learning to rock climb is far from the most difficult thing she’s had to overcome. An accident two years ago left Harpin paralyzed from the waist down.
"Looking around and seeing all of these other people in chairs really makes me feel like there’s nothing that we can’t do," said Harpin.
Climbing gives Harpin and others with disabilities a different option: a chance to get out of their chairs.
While some had climbed before, many were just looking for a new challenge.
"I guess I don’t think about it as like, I have one hand and I have to climb this wall," said Gabby Sinotte, who was born without her left hand. "It’s like, I have to figure out how to do this myself."