Its amazing that the London paralymics were almost three years ago, I sat in awe at the skill and determination of all those that took part, I felt inspired to push on with my own challenge but I didn’t realise that my disability was about to take a massive tumble.
I have always loved swimming in open water and despite my mobility problems I still enjoyed an offshore swim. I also enjoyed kayaking, I admit that I wasn’t the best kayaker but I loved it with a passion. I used crutches around the bungalow and from the car to the front door and a wheelchair for anything further and I would push myself physically to a point where I was laid up for a few days in so much pain and a headache from my wife nagging me to stop over doing things. I always thought those few days laid up were worth it, I wasn’t going to let disability stop me doing what I loved.
My wife loves to say “I told you so”, however this time she didn’t because it was clear that I was paying a hefty price. We have a garden that measures 100’x40′ and it was mostly lawn and so we purchased 18 shrubs to give the garden a bit of interest, I sat on my backside with a spade in hand and dug the holes in the lawn for the shrubs, I felt rough but I thought once again that a few days of increased pain and being laid up was worth it. I have been laid up ever since that day, months upon months upon months of pain levels that are unbearable and I only leave the house for hospital and doctors appointments and the occasion visit to the supermarket if I’m well enough. I had finally pushed too far and something had to give.
So now when I see someone with a disability who has dragged themselves up Kilimanjaro or finished a marathon, I feel very different to how I did when I watched those paralympians, I no longer feel inspired or amazed, I’m afraid to say that I feel a bit fed up.
I know we can’t all be superheroes, not all able bodied people can even push themselves to those limits. However there is one disabled superhero who still inspires me, Ade Adepitan. Many years ago I watched him in a show where a group of people with a range of disabilities journeyed through harsh terrain in South America, I can’t remember the programmes name though. Anyway that went to climb a mountain, Ade was in an adapted wheelchair and he pushed and helpers pushed him and dragged him in the chair until a decision was made that it was not going to work, he wasn’t going to make it up any further. Ade got out his wheelchair and bum shuffled his way to the top, nothing was going to stop him and he made it to the summit.
Now I’m not going to be able to do anything near that, pain levels put a stop to me making it to the end of my garden at the moment, but whenever I think I’m beaten and I can’t cope with my current health, I remember Ade on that mountain.
I’m going to push on!
Until next time!