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Courtney Cooper

Even though our Wheels UP! Photo Contest has ended, that doesn't mean the traveling and being active should too.


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Photo courtesy of Clint Cook

Wheels UP! Photo Contest Celebrity Judge - Clint Cook

Online Exclusive posted Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 2:40pm

Clint Cook is a former quad rugby player, lover of billiards and a peer mentor.


Photo courtesy of Clint Cook

As a lover of being active, Clint Cook encourages all wheelchair users to be active, whether its playing sports, traveling or finding a hobby that gets you out of the house.

“I think it’s important to get involved or stay involved in your normal activities and travel that you enjoyed before your injury or disability because it keeps you out of your head and keeps your mind on things other than being in a wheelchair,” Cook says.

After a car accident in 1988, Cook sustained a C5 spinal-cord injury (SCI) and became an incomplete quadriplegic. He has been a wheelchair user for 30 years. Cook is makes it a priority to help other with living with an SCI. He started a support group on Facebook called “Spinal-Cord Injury USA” that has over 1,500 members. He is also a peer counselor at the Shepherd Center and leads many SCI group functions in Atlanta. Cook is also an athlete and was one of the founding members of the Atlanta quad rugby team back in the late 1980s. He has played sports such as quad rugby, wheelchair tennis and most recently, billiards. 

When it comes to the winning WheelsUP! photo, Cook will be looking for a photo that shows adventure, risk and speed.

“So maybe someone next to their hot rod car,” he says. 

If you’re looking for a reason to be active, Cook has some advice for you. 

“Don’t wait until you walk again to get involved. I’m not saying give up on that, just get on with life as if this is the way it’s going to be,” he says. “If you walk again, that’s great. If not, that’s fine too, at least you haven’t missed out on life, family, sports, hobbies and traveling. So many people wait to do things until they feel normal and miss out on the big picture, which is being healthy and life itself.”

 

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Wheels UP! Photo Contest Celebrity Judge - Clint Cook

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