Struggling as of late to write on the blog, or write anything for that matter. I cope with the side effects of Transverse Myelitis- pain, fatigue and depression, yet so often my problems seem insignificant while so many are struggling with illness, poverty and profound grief. Ive used this blog as an outlet to mainly share my triumphs and I desire to keep the focus on the positive, but I selfishly will use it now as a catharsis. Ready? . . . There- that feels better. Though through 2012 I have absorbed my own and others hardships, I do feel I have overcome many obstacles and would like to reflect on and celebrate them. Mother Nature was on my side for most of the year and we enjoyed dry and temperate temperatures until recently. I had concerns that a rainy winter and spring would impede my new found freedom as my wheelchair cannot get wet and I already had mega fear about just being out alone in the big, bad world. Not having to worry about getting stuck in a deluge allowed me to face my fears. Now, having gained more confidence, if the sky threatens rain I just pack my poncho and go. Thankfully, I have not yet had to "rock" the stylish red poncho. If only they could make rain gear for a wheelchair that doesnt make one look like a float in a parade. Being out on my own has helped me overcome my anxiety and pride about asking for help. If I need it, Ill ask and if its offered at an appropriate time, Ill accept. To clarify my own boundaries, if I am able to do something on my own, Ill decline the offer. Its interesting how people relate to me now that Im in a wheelchair. They sometimes want to share there own stories of injury or illness. My favorite this year was the random, yet seemingly sane, stranger who said to me as I passed him "I was in a wheelchair for 3 months and it sucked." Ummm, yeah. Thank you for sharing insert profane word here. This is when I do my best to avoid eye contact and just ignore that person, though a large part of me would like to share with him that his comment was insensitive. I think that people just want to, in some way, communicate or identify with what they fear- so I just go about day and leave them to ponder. There is also the kindly woman who owns the nearby flower stand who asked me what was wrong with me and then offered to give me a massage. If we are going there- how about free flowers? This was not offered. Now that the cycling center is just a few blocks away for real! I was able to log many miles on the handcycle and also started going out on my own. Though hills are still a struggle, I can cycle on the flat trail by the bay for four miles.The Cynphonics! October was a awesome month that kicked off with cycling event the "Rev" in Wine Country where my friend Elizabeth and I rode tandem for over 20 miles and me and my team, The Cynphonics, raised over $5,000 for BORP. BORP is the organization that not only runs the cycling center but also runs many adaptive sports programs. Many thanks to all my incredible donors and supporters who made that happen!A few days after the ride, Trevor and I were able to take a much needed getaway to Yosemite! A visit from my dad shortly followed, making October one fun filled adventure after another.As 2012 comes to a close, my focus now is get a J-O-B. Ive kick started a new venture into grant writing and will start volunteering with a few organizations in January to get some experience. More to follow!If you would like to see more photos of the ride,click hereThanks to Scot Goodman who allowed me to use some of his professional photos!
via Noonan Support.