Only in D.C.
come to think of it, it was actually Maryland…
This past week and a half my body has been quite obstreperous. It’s been kind of annoying actually. I’m not used to life being this difficult and I hate that the only response that doctors seem to be giving me is to “take it easy.” I am not exactly one to be okay with taking it easy. I understand that I have to take care of myself and to be kind to my body but it seems that the advice of “take it easy” has done nothing but buy me the more frequent use of a wheelchair.
Well, earlier this week I went up to Maryland up to a bike shop that rents out hand cycles. I couldn’t resist it, it’s been more than a decade since I have been able to ride a bike. I only lasted about 20 minutes but it felt fabulous to ride again! Also, while I was there I got to meet a totally amazing young woman. She has the same disability as myself. She also has the same neurological issue that began it’s onset during her late teens. She was there trying one of the more fancy (and expensive) models.
We only had a conversation for about fifteen minutes but not only did I learn that we shared the same disabilities but I also learned that she did hand cycle marathons all around the world! This woman has traveled to Israel, Beirut, Jordan and Germany to do these marathons! She had told me that she was often given the same advice I was given, to “take it easy.” The more she listened to this advice, however, the weaker she became and the neurological symptoms never seemed to get any better.
I am not trying to be a supercrip or to even advocate for the very detested “over comer” image but I was encouraged by this woman! These episodes are more than annoying they are painful and if I can reduce the pain without medication I am going to do that. I’m not sure that I will ever do marathons like she does (although that would be an awesome way to see the world!) but I have begun working with a physical therapist to begin to strengthen myself. When I get back to Philly I intend to open a savings account to save up for a hand cycle.
I seriously doubt this encounter would have happened anywhere else!