Because 'they [wheels] must make things hard for you' is said to me so often and today gives me the chance, along with other wheelies across the world, to help erase this view.
Because I love my wheels. They have opened doors for me that I had thought were closed for ever. They gave me a new lease of life, the ability to be an active member of my community in a way which would be impossible without them.
My wheels dont make things hard, they make things marvellously possible. I can shop, give talks, teach, carry, cook, travel, do book signings, speed shrieking down a hill....and oh so many things.
Try doing the above on legs that forget where they are, knees that dislocate, disappearing coordination and a decreasing level of conciousness. THAT is hard.
I have a seat in the postoffice queue.
I am faster than the other commuters across the station platform.
I have my own personal rollercoaster.
Yes, there are practical issues in a environment designed for walkers -
|Based on page 23 of "You know you've been pushing it when..."|
|Based on page 15 of "You know you've been pushing it when..."|
This doesn't make me hate my wheels. Without them I'd struggle to get to the stairs.
But it does make me want to help people understand the practicalities of life on wheels. So often the solutions are easy - a sign showing that the level access entrance is round the side, a doorbell on a heavy door, a little less stock on the shop floor. And suddenly my freedom expands. Like a champagne fountain. Unexpected, bubbly and leaving everything it touches with a trace of celebration.
So next time you see me wheeling down the street, don't pity the wheels but feel my joy at the freedom that they give.
And if, without fuss, you can make a little part of the world a little bit more accessible to a set of wheels, you will make my year.