I've started a new exercise challenge. I don' want to bore you about my new commitment to fitness, but that's part of this story. When we go to the mall, we park in the disabled parking spots and go in. When we leave, I roll down to the bottom of the hill. You see the parking is at the top of a long, very long, slope downwards to the duck pond. I roll all the way down, turn around, and push myself back up.
Now I'm not a skinny kid, I'm a fat old man. I have to push all my weight, and the weight of my chair, and the weight of the bag that hangs behind me. So, one day I was pushing uphill. It's hard work so I was breathing hard. A fellow approached me and I knew help was going to be offered. I said, "No thanks" before even being asked.
He said, "Oh you are working on your guns, huh?" I said that I was, and still did not look at him. I pushed a couple more times and he walked beside me and said, "Want me to keep you company and keep people from helping??" I said, sure. He chatted lightly and was really amusing. Just as I was nearing the car another fellow came to help, my breathing now was hard and he was told, nicely, "No, he can do it on his own." The offer of help persisted, "Leave him be!"
I got to the car and turned the chair to face him. I said, "Thanks," he said, "I know what it's like to get help I don't want."
I'm sure he did. He had Down Syndrome and was a perfectly charming gentleman. I was impressed with his assertive skills, and I say that not because he had Down Syndrome, but because most people don't have the assertiveness skills they need.
He did and I needed them. My job of pushing up a hill was made easier by someone who didn't let other people make it easier.