So it’s been a little while…whoops. But I promise you, I have a collection of good excuses for my delay. Sometimes life just gets crazy busy, you know? There’s a reason my little blog here is called “Never Sitting Still” because I honestly don’t know how to…somedays I swear I’ve got more going on now then I did before I was injured, which is kind of scary. That being said, my body decided to call a time out and I came down with one of those stupid spring colds. I’m feeling way better now, but initially it was like I got ran over by a bus….granted, that feels a bajillion times better than getting hit by a dead tree, but still. Yea, my terrible sense of humor is still here so I’m obviously doing okay:D
Post spinal cord injury, there are a lot of “new” things you find yourself having to learn how to do or simply doing as a part of your life now. I mean, when I was at Craig there were countless things they taught me that I always used to take for granted. Things like getting dressed, getting in and out of a vehicle/couch, and even something as basic sounding as how to maneuver my wheelchair and manage curbs/rough terrain. Since coming home I’ve done a few “new” things, usually just in the form of figuring out how to do something I never used to be able to (that’s what I call problem solving for independence:D). But this past week was one for the record books…
For starters, I made mention of receiving a grant for a racing chair a few weeks ago. Racing chairs are custom built for each athlete, like they’re made so they fit on your booty pretty snug. That being said, you have to get all measured to actually order the chair and since I’m pretty new to the whole racing world, I sought out some assistance in getting actual legit measurements. My assistance came in the form of a paralympian.
Yea, no big deal, I just spent an afternoon hanging out with a man who competed in Track and Field in both Barcelona and Bejiing. Talk about awesome. He’s even helping me really get going, laying out some workouts, getting properly positioned in the chair, having a good stroke technique, all of the stuff that’s really important to actually learning a new sport. I mean, I ran before, but this is so different, it’s like starting new again.
That “new” feeling has it’s cons-I mean, there’s so much I don’t know yet. There’s so much that just feels awkward and strange, like the simple act of just transfering into a racer. But “new” sure has it’s pros, look at everything I GET to learn! Look at the people I’ve already been able to meet. Look at all the potential. I promise you one thing, I can almost guarantee I’ll be a faster runner in my racer then I ever was on foot. I was pretty slow….But I’m all measured and my chair is all ordered and now I just wait:D
What else is new? Well on Friday, this girl got behind the wheel and I’m not saying to just sit there. I. Totally. Drove!
Yea, crazy right? I can’t even begin to tell you how nervous I was waiting for the instructor to come. It was like being 16 all over again. You know, I hated drivers ed when I was in it the first time and I was so beyond stoked to get it over with. Funny that now I basically have to do it again, go figure.
It was really exciting and yet really strange to be back driving, I did way better than I was expecting to and I actually enjoyed it a ton. Learning with hand controls is seriously just like when I learned to drive as a 16 year old. You know how you do all the jerky stops and give your passengers whip-lash when you first start? Then there’s trying to figure out how to navigate a corner and when to put the gas on and how much you should give it? It was just like that, but it’s strange because I know how much gas I should and how to brake, but it’s training myself to do it with my hands instead of my feet. Weird.
So I’ll have to do a few more hours of “lessons” before I really hit the road, but I’m looking forward to it. Well, mostly looking forward to it. Sometimes learning new things is a bit scary and intimidating, but it often has some pretty great pay-offs. I mean, soon I’ll be able to drive myself to Costco to get Mom her toilet paper, how great will that be Mom?