Wednesday, February 22, 2017


We are heading over to the United Kingdom in a few days and are slowly getting prepared. Joe has pulled out a steamer (to heat ready meals in our room) plug adaptors and our UK cell phone which hasn't been used in a few years. Me, I've been getting myself psyched up to do the travel, particularly getting in the rental car from the other side. My body has been trained as to where the passenger seat is and I need to be sure I've got equal flexibility when I face the car door on arrival.

The other thing that I've been intentional about is the pushing myself part. I know that I'm facing long distances and therefore I've been practicing long distance pushing.  More than that, I've been using the bus and my manual chair when we've gone out grocery shopping or the movies or the museum. It takes more organization and it reduces flexibility but, that's what comes with relying on wheels other than your own.

This weekend we went 3 places where typically I'd use the power chair and instead we went on the bus and under my own steam. Some of the pushing was hard, uphill slants and rough terrain but with every push I knew that I was prepping for a week and a half with no option but my manual. I want this trip to the UK to be different than any before it. I want to go, doing what I need to do, without assistance and that means, wonderfully, without waiting for assistance.

I keep waiting for my arms to show the results of a year of weight lifting and intentional pushing but, sadly, they don't - except where it matters, performance. I know I can rely on my arms to get me pretty much anywhere I want to go.

I'm actively looking forward to landing at Heathrow. All previous years, we've waited, sometimes very long waits, for assistance. If they are still using the same gate, it's a really long way to customs, I am looking forward to getting off the plane and getting into my chair and then having a good long run in the chair - getting the kinks out from sitting on a plane for all those hours.

So, I'm prepping.

And because of that, I'm full of anticipation for what the trip will bring!


Unknown said...

the dread of travel that you wrote about a few years ago seems to be transformed into anticipation....
facing a fear and finding personal strength (in this case, muscles!) has been key...thanks for sharing, Dave.

you sure will have some long pushes at Heathrow!

bdqbdq said...

Travel stretches us, you will be so much more flexible even if it hurts. Hope you have a wonderful time. 😊

Frank_V said...

Suddenly, I'm hearing the theme song from the movie "Rocky". Go Dave!

Jodiebodie said...

It's great that you highlight the work that it takes to do things that others take for granted or don't understand. I use a manual wheelchair in order to maintain fitness and strength. So many times, people have suggested I get a motorised chair (not an electric chair - that's something completely different!!) but I worry about deconditioning. I've worked so very hard the past 11 years to get to this point and don't want to lose any of it! Other people without disabilities often fail to appreciate the hard work that goes on in the background in order to maintain independence. I feel it is important to acknowledge and appreciate that occasionally but not in a condescending way, but coming from someone who 'gets it'.
Well done on all of your hard work and congratulations on being able to go so far as a result. It is an awesome achievement. :-) Feel good!