2016 Ms. Wheelchair Washington

2016 Ms. Wheelchair Washington
Nicole Martini


I got invited to attend an adaptive archery workshop in Puyallup with Adaptive Recreation, a group of people with “disabilities”. 
I’ve been shooting archery from the age of about 8 yrs old. When I was in my early 20's I took a break from sports altogether.
When I was 16 yrs. I competed in a national competition in Tempe, Arizona and won 2nd place in my division.
Anyway, finding Skookum Archers proved to be a bit of a task. I, once again, attempted to take the bus there. Krystal was with me, but neither of us knew how to get there. We were going to two different locations. Krystal went to the fair while I went to shoot archery for the day.
 I asked the bus driver how I could get to the archery range, but unfortunately he didn’t know either. All of a sudden all the people on the bus started helping out by shouting out routes and ways to get to my location by bus and cab. The bus driver even took extra time to call in and see if he could get correct routes to the range. I felt a little overwhelmed that so many people would take the time to help me, it was so humbling and amazing. I am SO grateful to the bus driver and the group of people who helped. Everyone went above and beyond to help me.

After that, while still on the bus, I ended up getting a pretty bad panic attack!! I don’t know exactly what triggered it, but “luckily”  I knew how to handle the situation since I've had panic attacks since the age of 13 yrs old.
Feeling, lightheaded, disoriented, hyperventilating, heart pounding , shaking and thoughts racing a mile a minute I got off the bus, pushed myself across the street to a mini mall to take a taxi, but first I got a bite to eat incase it was caused by low blood sugar. The bus dropped me off only about a mile away so it didn't take long.

Once I Finally reached Skookum Archers, still having a pretty bad panic attack, I met another great bunch of people/fellow archers!! As much as my body was in “fight or flight mode” and telling me not to shoot, I had to fight like hell and force myself to shoot. I didn’t go there to sit back and watch everyone shoot. One of the men there is an amazing traditional archer and he let me shoot with his bow/arrows for a round!! It was such an honor to shoot using his bow/arrows, which were beautiful!! Shooting for 4 hours felt SO great despite the stupid panic attack, which lasted about 4 hrs. I believe because I kept trying to suppress it, it kind of made it worse!!!
I would LOVE to shoot with this group of archers again. My goal for archery is to get back into competing again. What a wonderful way to end a fun filled adventurous few days!! I loved every minute of it. I will Never forget this experience. 

THANK YOU SO MUCH to EVERYONE involved in this adventure, Pierce Transit, and the people at the STAR Center who also helped me out in figuring out my exact location so I could call a cab.

Puyallup Spring Fair!!!

I got to spend a few days in Tacoma, WA!! I want to give a BIG Thank You to Jenny Adams, Ms. Wheelchair America for inviting Krystal Monteros (Ms. Wheelchair WA. 2010) and myself to help out at the Puyallup Spring Fair at the Ms. Wheelchair America table!! I had such a great time with both ladies. They both are wonderful, selfless people with hearts of gold.
Thank you, Krystal, for letting me stay with you!! We always have a great time together!! J

I have only been to Tacoma 2 times, this being my 2nd time ever, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The first day of the fair was very exciting for me since I’ve never been to the Puyallup Spring Fair before. As soon as my train arrived in Tacoma, (which was an hour late) Krystal met me at the Amtrak station and we took the bus over to the fair grounds. We met a lot of characters, but over all the day was great with the sun shinning bright.
Day 2 was interesting. I had to take the bus to the fairgrounds by myself. Luckily, Krystal, being the awesome friend she is, set up my whole bus itinerary for the day. So there weren’t very many mishaps. I did start off the day by getting on the wrong bus at first, however being bus savvy myself, (my dad drove the city buses in Santa Clara County for 30 yrs, and I’ve been taken buses since 2nd grade) this was quickly fixed and I was back on track with no worries.

The 2nd day (and my last day) at the fair was a very good and busy one!! Once again, I met a lot of great people, some of which shared wonderfully inspirational stories about their loved ones with “disabilities” and how they overcame obstacles.
I also got to meet and took a picture with Honey Queen Pierce County, which was pretty neat.