Thursday, February 07, 2019


So now that I'm a gym bunny, I've taken to writing down weights and reps so that I can keep track and push myself. It turned out that I had been going every week and doing the same thing thinking it was more. So writing it down helps. Today at the gym something very funny happened. I pulled the book with pen attached out of my wheelchair bag and in doing so dropped the pen to the ground. "Oh, shit," I thought, "I really want to record what I'm doing." I searched for another pen in my bag but it was a fruitless endeavour. I rolled back until I could see the pen. I turned the chair so I was beside the pen.


I have never been able, since I started using the wheelchair, been able to bend over sideways and touch the floor. I'd never even actually gotten close to the floor. But I leaned and as I did so I saw about 8 people in the gym come to a full stop. It was like they were frozen in time and space as their eyes were glued to my hand as I reached down. The further I went down I could feel them willing me to get the pen while fighting their own desire to run over and pick it up for me.

There was a gasp.

My fingers brushed the top of the pen and for a second we all thought, as we were all of one mind now, that I'd gotten it. But it rolled away from me a bit.

I leaned over further my fingers stretching to their fullest length and I managed to roll the pen back.

They were still with me, all of them and a couple more who stopped to see what they were looking at and then decided to stay. I don't normally like being watched but I didn't find their eyes intrusive, this was a gym, they all know about pushing to reach goals.

My goal was just a pen on the floor.

But it was goal enough.

For everyone.

Then, pen in place I leaned over, I could feel the stretch, my muscles moving, and I caught the pen between my forefinger and middle finger. I had it. I lifted it up. And it was over.

This all took only seconds but it felt like a long time.

But I have to say I admire those who were their, I could feel them silently cheering me on.

But what I admire more was the incredible resistance they showed. They held themselves back from helping. They exercised restraint, a muscle not so often used these days.

Everyone was all smiles after it was all over.

They wished me well.

And they showed it.

By letting me do well.


ABEhrhardt said...

Wonderful progress for you - on several fronts.

And you earned every bit of it, including the respect.


Shan said...

SO CHARGED UP FOR YOU! I am feeling a bit verklempt at the thought of the gym rats rooting for you, and you GOT the bloody pen!
Really needed this after a totally shit day. xo

Unknown said...

I'm so happy for your victory! Also, it's good to see you posting again, I've been missing the blog :)

Lokeish Umak said...

that one was really a good try and hope all is well

Lucy said...

So pleased to read this.

Unknown said...

I came across this post and I found it very intriguing. I had a few good laughs, but also had
some great opportunity for reflection. It is so common for people to want to do things for people with a disability. Others do not understand that it might just take us longer to do something, but it does not mean we cannot do it ourselves. Growing up I felt I was not able to talk for myself as others always wanted to talk for me and now I do not feel that I have very strong self-advocacy skills. If we aren’t encouraged to do things for ourselves how are we going to learn to do them. It is important to let us do things for ourselves unless we ask for help. Thanks for sharing! Sarah