by: Nerissa Cannon

Nerissa, one of the original Freedom Chair Trailblazers, is passionate about helping other people get the most out of life. In her new series, “It’s a GRIT Life,” she shares how the GRIT Freedom Chair helps her engage in her favorite activities and live a life of adventure. Follow Nerissa as she treks up huge mountains, navigates city-scapes, shares her experiences with wheelchair camping, and more! To see more videos of the GRIT Freedom Chair and of Nerissa’s “It’s a GRIT Life” series, click here!

The GRIT Freedom Chair can fit into all ADA accessible spaces, including bathrooms.

One of my favorite things about the Freedom Chair is its versatility. This means that I can use it on a trail or at the beach, but then if I need to I can use it in a restroom, go out shopping, or go out to eat. It is specifically designed to fit in all ADA accessible spaces. Of course, the longer boom of the GRIT Freedom Chair makes it longer than a standard, everyday chair, but not having to transfer in and out of multiple chairs is well worth some extra shimmying!

Recently, my boyfriend Kelsom and I started the day with a simple Freedom Chair outing in mind, but then, (as things do happen) we ended up doing much more than we had planned. Luckily, even though my Freedom Chair was the only mobility equipment I had with me, I managed just perfectly as you will see.

Rolling up to the table on the cafe patio. My front tire fit right under the center of the table.

Do you want to connect with other GRIT Freedom Chair users?

Come on down to Beyond the Pavement, the Facebook group dedicated to adaptive, outdoor adventure. In Beyond the Pavement, you’ll be able to message and comment with all-terrain wheelchair users, off-road enthusiasts, and folks who just want to get outside. Beyond the Pavement has become an open dialogue about products like the GRIT Freedom Chair and anyone who loves the outdoors. Ride on by and stay awhile!

We had a slow start that morning, so we decided to grab breakfast on the way before heading to our main activity. Kelsom took me to this adorable little outdoor, downtown cafe. The patio area was small, but I was able to smoothly roll right to a table. The food and the coffee were so good!

I have found fitting rooms to be generously sized. My Freedom Chair has no trouble.

While we were eating we started talking and decided to pop into this sports store that was across the street to see if they had a couple of things that we had been looking for. While they didn’t have what we asked about, some on sale clothes caught my eye, and I decided to try them on. Fortunately, the Freedom Chair is maneuverable enough to fit into most dressing rooms. Unfortunately, that means I WAS able to try on the clothes, and I liked them, and I left with a much lighter wallet.

BONUS: Have you seen Nerissa’s previous “It’s a GRIT Life” episode, “Pounding the Pavement”? If not, check it out! Here’s what Nerissa says about navigating city terrains in her GRIT Freedom Chair:

Riding up curbs takes practice to get the timing and balance right, but it is absolutely doable. Something I always had a hard time with in my ultralight chair was hopping a curb where there was natural terrain on the other side. It has a tendency to slow down your momentum, and then you don’t have the momentum that carries you through. With the GRIT Freedom Chair, I don’t have to worry about that. It just powers through any type of soft terrain that might be on the other side of the curb.

It was too cold to swim, but we strolled in the shallows.

For our main event of the day we decided we wanted to hang out at the Lake at the Hills. It’s a man-made lake and recreation spot in our town. It is still technically Spring so perhaps we were a little premature with deciding to do a lake day. It was windy as it does tend to be where we live, but with temperatures in the low 70s none of us were eager to dive into the water. Not wanting to waste the trip we just meandered along the shoreline. One of my favorite things to do with the Freedom Chair is to wheel in shallow water. It moves so well in the dense, packed sand that it makes me feel like I’m in a small boat or something.

Grocery shopping with the Freedom Chair is a breeze!

Because conditions weren’t exactly favorable we called it quits pretty soon. The Freedom Chair allowed me to move seamlessly from the water up to the beach. On the way home we needed to stop and grab some groceries and it was my turn to buy so of course I had to go in. Luckily, my Freedom Chair gives me the maneuverability to handle just about any kind of grocery store obstacle. With our groceries paid for, finally our day was done and we took the Freedom Chair home for a well-deserved rest.

As you can see my GRIT Freedom Chair handled outdoor settings perfectly. But because it can transition indoors as well, I wasn’t stuck waiting in the car or outside just because it was the only mobility equipment I’d brought with me that day. I got to fully engage in my day out and about with my boyfriend. I am so grateful for that.

To see more of IT’S A GRIT LIFE, checkout our YouTube Channel!

Do you have a GRIT Freedom Chair story to tell?

We’d love to hear it! Seriously. Brag a little bit. Share something you’ve learned about navigating with a GRIT Freedom Chair. Tell us about something you like to do in your GRIT Freedom Chair. Teach us something! Whatever story you have to tell, contact us at or at 877-345-4748 and we’ll get your story up!