Monday, 16 January 2012

"Anything you can do I can do better"

While doing some disability awareness chatting I happened to mention that while some wheelchair users can go down stairs in their wheels:
picture from: "You know you've been pushing it when..." By Hannah Ensor 

I can't.
picture from: "You know you've been pushing it when..." By Hannah Ensor

A person with disabilities who was with me said "Yet! - we can do anything able bodied people can do, and better, can't we!"  Fighting talk. Said with fierce conviction but it made me shrink inside. A statement so desperate to prove worth that admission of limitation is unthinkable.

I don't know whether learning to wheel down a flight of stairs is possible with my conditions - and I don't care because I have no intention of putting the time or effort into trying. I don't want to. It isn't necessary for me and it doesn't appeal. Why should I feel obliged to learn/say I'm learning just to prove...something I don't understand...when I would much rather be drawing stickmen or learning to dance? 

When I was able bodied, I didn't feel the need to insist to every skateboarder doing tricks that 'I could do that if I wanted/practiced'. Other peoples abilities didn't make me feel inferior then, and I don't see why they should now. 

So here and now I say what I wanted to but didn't earlier:

I can't do the amazing wheelie stunt of going safely down a stairs on wheels. 
I have no need to learn it.
I have no intention of learning it.

And I'm still an valuable member of society.

So there.


  1. A very valuable member of society :) Keep up the good work i love the stickman adventures! For me i don't yet need wheels but i am stubborn, if someone tells me i can't do something....and i want to.....then i'll bloody well do it! Nikki xx

  2. Thanks :) - and I agree that if you want to do something and others are saying 'can't' - Whole different ball game! :D

  3. I feel the same for wheelchair users who can go up/down escalators. I have a low SCI so it is definitely possible but I don't want to learn it and don't feel that it is necessary to learn it. Besides, I think it'd scare everyone else around me (which is the last thing I want/need).

    Besides, my friends are impressed enough by my inability to hold a wheelie for three hours. ;)

  4. I agree, wholeheartedly. Although some non-disabled people's ideas of what is possible really need challenging. Like on Christmas morning, at church with my father.
    Lady: happy Christmas!
    Me: happy Christmas. Have you met my dad?
    Lady: hello, nice to meet you. Is your mum at home cooking the Christmas lunch then?
    Me: she may well be - she lives in Derbyshire though, with her partner.
    Lady (flustered): oh... Well, who is going to cook Christmas dinner for you then?
    Me: errr, me?
    Lady: really? What about the, erm, wheelchair?
    Me (scrolling through and rejecting various Insulting replies): the wheelchair really can't cook. I, on the other hand, have big plans for a leg of lamb...

    1. Hahahaha - brilliant reply :) Amy C

    2. I am looking forward to watching the Olympics, quite happy in the knowledge that I will probably never run a marathon, leap those hurdles or swim like a dolphin, why would I need to try something that I know only makes me feel awful? It has taken me a goodly while to accept the fact that actually, no, I can't do anything an able bodied person can.
      Everyone has their limitations, mine may not be the same as the person next to me, but I know I am loved for who I am, not for what I can do, and that is all that matters hey ;o)
      Rachel xx

  5. What do you do if you're at a venue with stairs and no lift? Do you accept being turned away or get someone to lift you? Or can you walk up the stairs?

    1. Sometimes I can walk up with assistance, sometimes I bum-shuffle and drag my wheels up, sometimes I get carried up (being slim and having a super-light-weight chair this isn't too difficult) :)


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