The other day I wrote about my new snowboarding boots. They’ve made a big difference to my mobility and for the last few days I’ve been enjoying being more active both at home and at work.
My office is in a new building and up to now I’ve always been in my wheelchair there. When I walked in wearing my new boots for the first time everything seemed to have got a bit smaller. This was because I was used to seeing the place from a sitting down perspective.
While the office might seem smaller, most distances seem much longer when I’m on my feet rather than in my chair. Tonight I walked with Leftwing Idiot from the castle to his flat for the first time in over a year. We live very close to each other and I was confident that with his help I could manage the 200m walk in my new boots. It became apparent very quickly that this wasn’t the case and that walking on the street or for any prolonged distance is still very risky.
The tics in my knees meant I kept dropping down every few steps, and each time Leftwing Idiot had to strain to break my fall. Initially I tried to make excuses like ‘I just need to practice’, or to look for positive points like ‘My ankles and knees aren’t going to get injured, it’s just my head that’s at risk.’ But in reality I knew this was nonsense.
We made it safely to his flat, but I felt crushed – I’d really hoped it would be much easier. But it hadn’t been, and I moved quickly from cheerful optimism to overwhelming disappointment. I began to cry.
Leftwing Idiot sat me on his sofa, reassured me, and talked a lot of sense. With the help of his words, my disappointment began to shrink as fast as it’d grown, and after a few minutes I felt a lot happier.
I’ve been enjoying new perspectives in the last few days, but I’ve also learnt how important it is to have expectations that are reasonable. Keeping a clear view of what’s possible is important whenever I try anything new.