Roll models

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A trip to my old spinal unit today for a caliper fitting. I am still trying to walk, despite physics and biology offering irrefutable evidence that this is
1) Impossible, and
2) a really silly idea (see 1)

And so I persist with the extensive leg-scaffolding that allows me to 'walk'. This does have other health benefits. It's good for my circulation, and because putting weight through my legs helps preserve bone density so my legs don't snap like twiglets whenever I transfer. This happens because the body re-absorbs the 'unwanted' calcium from the bones, and then coats them with Marmite (one of these facts may be untrue and yeasty tasting).

I had hoped to master the caliper walking thing in time for the book launch. I planned to leap up mid way though my speech and shout, "It's all been an elaborate hoax!" But I fear this would have been too cruel on my family, who would probably have joined an angry crowd in 'stoning' me with copies of my own book.

Anyway, there I was in the spinal injuries centre...
Signage belonging to the sponsor of some of the facilities was being taken down as part of their rebranding. With it came their 'inspirational picture' of a man in a wheelchair sitting in front of a microlight aircraft. It led to an interesting discussion that reminded me of some of the thoughts around my book. Namely, what makes the best inspirational story? A picture of someone overcoming immense odds to climb a mountain in a wheelchair, or a picture of someone doing something that is more likely to be achieved by the people who are being inspired? And how do you come up with something that has the widest appeal?

I thought a nice image of someone in a wheelchair with a spectacular view behind them. One would obviously have to choose the view carefully. Grand Canyon? Yes. Beachy Head? Maybe not. I remember an early cover idea for my book showed an empty wheelchair on a beach. I think it was supposed to be sombre and reflective, but to me it looked as if someone had just been dumped in the ocean. This was before I had finished writing the book, so it's just as well that 'sombre and reflective' now sleeps with the fishes.

So here's the problem: How do you come up with something that inspires everyone and is both extraordinary and achievable? I didn't say I knew the answer. As I was leaving, I noticed that the sign had been covered up with a piece of white paper, on which was printed the words, "TEMPORARY SIGN".


Oh, and here's a picture of my new mechanic. She's a bit slapdash, but her rates are very reasonable...


Wheelchair mechanic.jpg






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