On Friday, one of Vita's day programmes had a big Bar-B-Que and I was really excited to be able to go. Because of my travels, I often miss these days. But as soon as I realized that I was available, I arranged for Joe to pick me up at the office and go with me to the event. Joe is well known in the agency as he is my transportation and my support system when I'm doing things outside the office. That he is warmly welcomed is a testament both to Vita's commitment to diversity and to Joe's personal charm.
We arrived carrying our veggie hot dogs and had them put on the grill. I chatted with various Vita members and a few of the Vita staff that I recognized. The day was perfect for a Bar-B-Que and it was fun watching the various activities and games that were planned for the day. There was a marvelous mixing of staff and members, it always amazes me how laughter, shared, reduces hierarchy like almost nothing else. It's like in that shared moment of joy, can only happen when there is respect and a true sense of equality.
When the races were up, I suggested to Joe, jokingly, that we should enter the egg and spoon race. He nodded half-heartedly. But then, after the first heat, another was being set up. He said, 'Let's go!' I was shoving food into my face and I had to finish quickly. Why are there never races in what I'm good at?
We got to the start line and I was handed a lime and a spoon. The lime was a wise replacement for the egg. I got it centered on the spoon. Joe got lined up behind the wheelchair prepared to push me. All I had to do was to keep the damned spoon still. When the whistle was blown we headed off. I can't believe how much I wanted to win. I focused on my job and Joe ran, pushing the chair and me in it. To say we were outclassed by the rest of the field was an understatement but we didn't embarrass ourselves either. Let's just say it was a close last.
Funny how when I sat into a wheelchair I never pictured myself racing in an egg and spoon race. Got that one wrong! I did notice that some of the others in wheelchairs were cheering us along.
Never thought I'd be a roll model - for athletics.
But then, I only had to hold the spoon. And I'll admit to doing it brilliantly.