A few awesome things have happened this week. I like to actually document this because it helps to ground me in the present reality, specially at times when things are tough in other areas.
Entering the festival of running as a para-athlete
I finally got my hands on the finish line photos from last month’s Southland festival of running.
This event happens every year. I saw it pop up and asked could I enter with a wheelchair and was told no (with no reason given). Thanks to the hard work of some local support organisations we managed to get the committee on board and allow me to enter as a trial run to see if they would open it to the general disabled population in years to come. I was the first (and only) wheelchair entry. Pretty proud I played my part in making this small change that could actually open huge doors to others in the future, fingers crossed.
Women’s ride month 100km ride event
These are the amazing individuals I completed my century ride with last month. Although we didn’t get much chance to talk to each other (due to the howling winds and the fact that it was actually 100km!) It was an amazingly supportive group, a fab chance to have a quick chat over lunch at the Swan Cafe in Waihola (where this photo was taken). I really hope they do more of these as weekend events, because I seriously would drive up to Dunedin to take part in more, there is just nothing like it locally to where I live.
Changing my look
Due to the fact that I have to wear a lymphedema compression garment all the time, I have started experimenting with a whole new wardrobe. It’s rather hot to wear something like this in the summer, so I need all the ventilation I can get! Wearing what is, in effect, thick tights under a pair of trousers was getting a bit much. So I am trying dresses instead… and so far I am loving it. Do bear in mind, I have never been a dress person so this is a whole new me that you are seeing!
Getting back to work as an amputee
As you may know, I have been chomping at the bit for a while now, to get back to work on a graduated return to work program. This is now resting on a bunch of equipment arriving, that will i hope, facilitate this in a much easier way for me.
The major player for getting massage back was an electric table. This arrived this week. With the adjustment this gives me, I am now able to massage seated for a lot more of the client treatment (usually I would be stood up the whole time). This makes massage a lot more feasible for me. I tried it out on a client this week, who confirms that I can in fact inflict more pain with a lot less effort than before. Excellent!
Finding my Mojo again
As you know, I am not one to give up on things, like, ever. But, the limitations I presently have in my left leg mean that actually any great distance in a chair is a lot easier and less painful than trying to walk at the moment. (I am under a pain specialist so still live in hope that we can make strides to improve this.) So, with that in mind I have 100% embraced the use of a wheelchair for distance ‘walking’ and exercise purposes. In reality I do not need it for day to day living, my prosthetic leg is just fine for that.
When the chair was first delivered to me, my 5km time was 1 hour 2 mins. Now (on the same course) I have gotten it down to 47 mins 17 seconds. I didn’t actually realise but swimming and wheelchair propulsion actually compliment each other very nicely indeed. The fact that I have always been a strong swimmer meant that I hit the ground running, so to speak, when I started using the chair. Unexpectedly though, I have also found that it seems to be helping with swim endurance also.
After knocking out a new PB at the park, I headed to the pool and relatively effortlessly swam 4000m. The last time I did that distance was over a year ago!
Despite the fact that sometimes things happen to throw curve balls in my path, I need to remember that is only a tiny part of the world I live in and a lot more awesome things are happening around me at the same time.
I have been asked how I manage to stay so motivated and positive. So, I am going to prepare a blog on that subject over the coming weeks. If I can help even one other person find their own awesome, then the time and effort is well worth it.