She is the second fastest para-athlete on a bike, and this year she will be competing for Germany at the Paralympics: Denise Schindler is a successful full-blooded athlete. Logically, a good training plan and good prostheses have an important place in her life. How prostheses in general can be improved, which motto accompanies her through life and how she otherwise rolls, she tells us on REHACARE.com.
Name: Denise Schindler Age: 35 City: Olching, Germany Occupation: Professional cyclist, moderator, influencer, key note speaker Impairment: Lower leg amputee
Denise Schindler: As a professional athlete, daily training comes first. If the training goes great and I still have time for friends and family, then it's a perfect day for me.
Which auxiliary means or daily living aids are indispensable for you?
Denise Schindler: My lower leg prosthesis with a custom cover from Mecuris, which I wear all day. And when I go into the water, I wear the Mecuris NexStep prosthetic foot with a colourful cover.
What would you like to see from society and your fellow people in dealing with people with disabilities?
Denise Schindler: More normality and self-evidence. Many people with disabilities cannot participate in many things of normal life – they fail because of barriers. Their needs are simply not perceived.
Which assistive device would urgently need to be invented and/or improved?
The NexStep prosthetic foot from Mecuris is always with Denise Schindler when she goes into the water.
What has been your biggest challenge so far that you have mastered – and what has helped you to do so?
Denise Schindler: The Tour Transalp was definitely the biggest challenge for me so far. Especially when I think about how many metres in altitude we had to overcome. My inner strength and stamina helped me get through this tour. And of course the intensive preparation for the tour.
What can the assistive technology industry learn from the Corona pandemic to make life easier and/or better for people with disabilities in the future?
Denise Schindler: The pandemic showed us how vulnerable our health system is. We are still in a good position compared to other European countries, but we have identified many weaknesses. During the pandemic, people with disabilities have been hit twice, by their vulnerability and the elimination of many support services. Even neighbourhood help has become difficult. In general, I hope that the pandemic has strengthened togetherness and mutual consideration.
If nothing would be impossible: Who would you like to meet one day and why? Denise Schindler: Alicia Keys. It impresses me how she goes her own way, how she stands up for her values and how she sets an example for other women. For example, she doesn't continue to bow to the pressure of the record industry and sometimes performs without make-up.
What was your best REHACARE experience?
Denise Schindler: The togetherness and the exchange have remained particularly positive in my memory.
What I finally want to say...
Denise Schindler: My personal motto is: Never stop spinning. Life is full of opportunities. Our inner attitude ultimately decides how we master life and whether we allow ourselves to become happy in the process.