There are some people who learn to overcome their disabilities in the face of their dreams and there are some who help each other to reach their goals.
When you really want to do something, they say no hurdle can stop you. You will do everything in your power to achieve that dream. Be it working on yourself and becoming better at something, or working with someone to achieve what you want. And that is exactly what these two people did. This woman who can't walk and a man who can't see decided to do - team up and make their dreams come true.
Melanie Knecht and Trevor Hahn have shown the world the real meaning of teamwork. Hailing from Fort Collins, Colorado, the hiking buddies have worked together to navigate the nooks and crannies of the Colorado mountains and trails ever since they first met at an adaptive exercise class, reported Good Morning America.
Both of them have had their fair share of pain and drawbacks. Melanie was born with Spina bifida, a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don't form properly, and hence uses a wheelchair to make her way around. Trevor, on the other hand, lost his eyesight due to glaucoma five years back in 2014, reported the outlet.
But after that class together, the two started bonding over their mutual love of the outdoors and soon enough, they made the decision to team up and hike together. During their treks, Trevor carries Melanie around by placing her in a secure harness on his back while Melanie gives him directions to guide him along the trails. “It just seemed like common sense,” she told GMA in a recent interview. “He’s the legs, I’m the eyes — boom! Together, we’re the dream team.”
"This way, we both have purpose and this huge responsibility,” Trevor told 5280, Denver's Mile High Magazine.
He told KDVR News that though he continued to hike and climb mountains after he lost his eyesight, relying on adaptive techniques like following the sound of a bell, it didn't "really give me a purpose." "Like, I was just following this bell," he continued. "It would be really cool if I could have a purpose on the trail."
Now with Melanie as his partner-in-crime, he feels like he found his purpose. “It made me so happy to help someone experience what I’ve been able to experience my whole life,” he told GMA. “Just getting on top of a mountain, a car can’t get to it, you just feel that sense of accomplishment. The best part is being able to make her smile. That gives me purpose.”
As for Melanie, it's leaving her wheelchair behind as she goes for her hikes that is the best feeling. “I’ve been in a wheelchair my whole life, and it’s an amazing feeling to leave it literally miles behind on the trail,” she told GMA. "I even couldn’t get in it if I wanted to, and that’s a great feeling."
The two of them miss no chance to document their travels on the Instagram account @hiking_with_sight. As per their profile, they describe their hikes as "a journey of purpose between two friends, one who cannot see and one who cannot walk," according to People.
So what's next for the duo? Well, it's a hike on a mountain that's over 14,000 feet tall. "There’s definitely a learning curve," Melanie told 5280 regarding training for their biggest climb yet. She added that the most important skill the two of them needed is "communication."
“I’m trying to warn him about obstacles far in advance, but also tell him if he’s about to trip on a rock or root in that moment,” she said. “I have to interrupt myself to give directions.”
“It takes a lot of teamwork,” Trevor added. “If I fall, she falls.”
Melanie also shared her advice for those who have close ones with disabilities. “Ask questions of people with disabilities, to see what they like and what they want to do,” she told GMA. “Don’t not include them because you think they won’t be able to do something.”
Well, we wish them good luck and safe journeys so that they can achieve their dreams.