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Thoughts on a Wheelchair

The term wheelchair seems to evoke some form of negativity with it. “The poor man is now uses to a wheelchair” or “the rest of their life will be in a wheelchair”, etc. Now, I must confess that most of the bodies I see in wheelchairs are being pushed by someone or maybe the person is using a powered chair.

Through no fault of my own, I use a wheelchair for certain times and functions of my life. From day one, I chose not to let anybody push me around and I absolutely refuse to use a powered chair. Earlier on, I passed a man like myself, legless, sleeping in his power chair. His little stumps were barely visible from underneath his beer belly. I swore I would never be that way.

My wheelchair is not that of a “cripple”. It is an extension of who and what I am, a man who does not have legs. My wheels are my lower body and I control them precisely, nobody else does. They take me where I want to go, when I want to go and as fast as I want to go. I can not run, but my chair makes my heart race when I take it all the way to the local mall. I can not run, but with my wheels, I am able to partake in running marathons. I stroke my way through the course to the cheers of “way to go wheeler” from the full bodied runners as they pass me by.

I often take it out and go “Rollin’ for seniors”, a bit of a game I devised. The early morning mall walkers are out in abundance and I wheel my fastest among them. It is the nearest I have found to a true life video game. As I approach any of them from behind, I whistle a tune so they hear me before I get to them, and then they stumble out of my way.

The term wheelchair is not negative. It is what the rider does with it that can be negative.









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