Flying and Wheeling Free

When I was at Camp Bluebird last week, a sweet old lady asked me what was wrong with my legs. I answered her question as quickly and to the point as possible, but I was really uncomfortable with the question and her response to what I told her.

Most people who see me in the wheelchair make assumptions about me. They assume that I have no ability to walk or move–otherwise why would I be in the chair? Well, I can walk. I do at home, but when I leave the house, my wheelchair gives me a sense of freedom that I don’t have on my feet anymore. I guess in some ways that’s something to feel sad and sorry about, but I really don’t feel that way. I feel sorry that sometimes other people have to help me when I’m in the wheelchair, but I know that if I wasn’t using it, I’d need a lot more help than I do now.

People would see me falling because of how easily I lose my balance. I couldn’t keep up with others when I was out because of fatigue. I don’t worry about that anymore. I get tired, yes, but it’s much easier to rely on the upper half of my body to get me around than the lower part of it. I can go places and do things that I couldn’t do if I was walking with my foot deformity with or without any kind of walking aid.

You’re probably wondering why I posted the TED talk when I’m not talking about deep sea diving or even power wheelchairs. I posted it because when I see it I’m reminded of how much more freedom we have than people realize. I’m reminded of all I can do, even though I often think about how much I’ve lost. Maybe one day I’ll get to go deep sea diving in a power wheelchair. Maybe I’ll get to do things I haven’t even thought of tonight. It all depends on how creative I am in finding ways to make it happen.

Let’s dream of wheeling freedom together.

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About lana1967

I'm a Southern girl at heart who wants to build a community of people who believe they can change the world with words like "love" and "freedom" when they become more than words, but actions in our work and our daily lives.
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