Kristina Rhoades is a mother, entrepreneur and life coach
As a mother and entrepreneur, Kristina Rhoades feels that having an active lifestyle is very important. Rhoades has spent her whole life in a wheelchair after getting injured at just 10 months old, which resulted in a T5 spinal-cord injury. Although she was injured before the age of one, her sense of adventure never dwindled. Rhoades and her family are very active.
“Regardless if someone has a disability or not, I believe we are here to experience all life has to offer,” Rhoades says. “There is so much wonder and beauty and adventure out there waiting for us. Although it can, at times, be more challenging to travel with a disability, it doesn’t have to keep us from getting out there.”
Rhoades has dedicated her life to mentoring people. At the age of 16, she became certified as a suicide intervention and domestic violence mentor which soon lead her to become a life coach for people who need help or just need someone to talk to. Rhoades is also the founder of the Flower of Life retreat in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, which is where guests can come to reconnect with themselves and heal themselves with activities such as art class, horseback riding, accessible yoga, nature walks and more.
“Life is short, so get out there and live it,” she says. “We’re sure to encounter obstacles along the way, and if we can be okay with that, we’ll enjoy ourselves much more. I also suggest asking for help. And, trust me, I understand how valuable our independence is. But, if we’re willing to take the assistance, there are so many people and organizations out there that would love to help us accomplish just about anything we can think of.”
When it comes to the winning WheelsUP! photo, Rhoades will be looking for fun candid shots that show action and help communicate the experience. “I’d love to see some creativity with angles and some unique settings,” she says.