Living and laughing with a disability - cerebral palsy; ordinary life, extraordinary circumstances.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Handcycling at PIR

The racetrack at the Portland International speedway is two miles.  Did you know that?  I don't think I'll ever forget that after tonight.

Handcycling at the PIR is an event that runs every Tuesday through September.

John and Dixie from our church family have been encouraging us to come.  John is a racer trying for 4 miles.  Dixie hands out fruit, water and encouragement.   Many wonderful volunteers are there.

All abilities...all ages...all skill levels.  No cost.

Jodie did great.  Her cycle was more upright, steering with her hands. 

Me?  I kept thinking that I was glad Eric was not there to see how many times I drove off the track into the grass.

The bike I was on steered by leaning your legs.  My brain was telling my legs what to do, but my wild legs just weren't moving the way I wanted them to.  I kept driving off the track into the grass. Each time there was someone around to help me back onto the track.  I was trying to hurry, because there was a guy waiting for my handcycle.

My handcycle had many gears.  I didn't use them.  I was having trouble staying on track in low gear...why would I go to higher gear?

Jodie stayed with me.  She could have easily blown by me.

Physical exercise just isn't much part of my life, but this felt good.  We were tired...a good kind of tired.

Will we be out there next Tuesday?  Hmm...

Monday, September 02, 2013

Teach your children...we are just like you

This is a top ten list worth sharing:

» 10 Things Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids About Disabilities | Wheelchair van, handicap van, & wheelchair lift information | AbilityVoice Blog

Kids are naturally curious.  The greatest harm we do as adults to kids is anything that`stymies their curiosity.  It's okay to stare the "ten second" stare.  It's okay to ask questions.

I like it when Jodie is around to answer kid's questions.  The teacher in her handles it beautifully.  When I am by myself and I try to speak with kids, kids are more curious of how I am speaking than what I am saying.

Don't be afraid of us as adults, and don't let your kids be afraid of us.

Disability is not something we chose.  We are as human as you are.  We overcome the barriers we can, we deny our disability when we are just plain sick of it.  We don't all have super human smarts, or some other super power that offsets our disability.

We are people just like you.  Great sometimes, not so great sometimes...we are human just like you.  Teach this to your kids.

I believe that kids who aren't afraid to acknowledge persons with disabilities or other differences will have a level of compassion that will one day open doors of opportunity for them.

Kindness benefits both giver and receiver, and it makes the world a better place.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Getting out...on the Springwater Trail

A bright sunny day in the middle of Labor Day weekend.  As true Oregonian, Jodie and  I know that sunny days are numbered.  

In a desperate attempt to sponge the remaining precious sunshine, Jodie and I took to the Springwater Trail for a ride.  There is a ramp to it a few blocks from our house.

It's not physical exercise for us.  Jodie is in her powerchair, and I am in my scooter.

It is a different kind of exercise for us.  We are homebodies.  We work all week in offices, go to church Sundays, go to Eric's baseball games.  Other than that, we stay home.

Home is safe. It is where we recoup from the week...and get our weekly chores done.

Going out on the Springwater Trail is and adventure that takes us out of our homebody routine.

We have live in our Gresham community for 15 years.  Riding down the trail reminds why we like living here.  Walkers, runners, bikers...they all smile and most say "Hello" as they go by.

I went by a teen boy.   I was thinking he would not say anything, but he smiled and said "hi."  I was surprised!

Jodie and I made it to the Main City Park.  I guess it's been a long time since we have  been there.  They have built a beautiful new entrance to the park off the trail, with a special tribute to Gussie Roberts, one of out former mayors.  There is now a beautiful wide sidewalk that winds through the park.

We drove through park and crossed Powell into Downtown Gresham.  I saw the antique consignment shop where Eric's girlfriend's  family has some stuff.  I was mesmerized by the old albums.  I found a 1970 Kansas album, which I didn't know existed.  Evidently, Wikipedia doesn't know either...I just checked.  More research to do...

Jodie found the dolls.  She saw a 1964 calendar she wants to get me.

The scary thing about looking at antiques is seeing items we remember using in our lifetime, like a pay phone.  So, that's a antique?  Like really?

After that, we stopped at Jazzy's Bagels, one of Gresham's treasures for sure.  Toasted cheddar cheese with cream cheese on top...just wonderful!

 I know, we are homebodies, and we are that boring!