Sunday, October 23, 2011

Working out for the Relay

For the past few weeks I've been busy trying to exercise in the hopes of building some muscle mass, enough to provide me with the strength required to complete my portion of the Rick Hansen relay.   First of all, being in a manual chair is quite an adjustment it literally has been
years since I have utilized one.

So for the past week or so I've been transferring to my manual wheelchair with the help of my spouse.  Strapping on all the belts and buckles  ensuring I wouldn't simply drop out of it and land on the ground.   Over last several weeks we've been getting a lot of rain, practicing outdoors was virtually impossible.   I would take the elevator to the basement and practice in our underground garage.   The first night I did 9 1/2 lengths or so, my knuckles were bruised one of my thumbs was bleeding yet I felt good being able to propel myself for that distance.   It has to be close to 100 feet, I'll let you do the math if you're so inclined.  I'll take a guess at 32.7564321 m X 9.5 LOL

I was certain the second night would be much better except the transfer didn't go that well.  I fell on the floor in our bathroom and had to rely on my spouse and one of our friends to lift me a few inches onto my lift chair "converted bath lift".

By the time I transferred to my chair I was wasted and so was the evening this zapped all of the energy I had thus no practicing that evening, with nothing left but a bruised ego.

The next day it was still pouring rain my hopes of getting outside were dashed.  As I looked outside wondering what it would be like on pavement.   It took some doing yet I made a decision to write a letter explaining to everyone why I would not be able to complete my portion of the relay.  It was a difficult note to write and it literally ripped me apart.   My next step was to call my contact in Vancouver and explain to her "voicemail" that my efforts had not yielded the the desired results thus unless I was permitted to participate using an electric wheelchair or to have someone near me to help if I required help I would not be able to attend.

Her response was quick, without hesitation. They were there to support me, if that meant using my electric wheelchair then so be it they would accommodate me no matter what.

I did not expect this response not after spending time to write a note informing everyone that I couldn't make it.   Not after looking outside at the miserable weather and thinking what a fool I was to even contemplate my participation in this type of event.

The moment she uttered "we will support you no matter what" well that's when I lost it.   I sobbed like a kid and was virtually unable to complete the phone call except to utter the  words, I will be there.

This means the note I prepared advising you of my nonparticipation will never be sent, instead I was able to go out today with my spouse beside me.  Managed to wheel myself around our building and then some.   If I cannot propel myself the entire distance I will rely on my best friend, my spouse to give me a hand.   After all my affliction with MS has affected her just as much if not more than it has affected me.  She has been there every day in every way possible the least I can do is have her by my side doing what she does every day, helping me accomplish things I cannot do on my own.

PS: By the way, I did receive my new wheelchair I will be taking some pictures and posting them on my blog after the relay.


Matt said...

Your post made me all emotional, too. I can't wait to hear how it goes.

Karen said...

I'm so glad you have received such great support from the organizers of the relay.

I admire your determination Michael, you will make it! You and your spouse make a great team.


Kim @ Stuff could... said...

This is touching...It is good to have a spouse to help you. Looking forward to the new wheelchair pics after the big day

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