Thoughts on a Wheelchair
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.