If you knew someone who is wheel-chair bound, what could/would you offer them to do that they wouldn’t be able to without leg-use?
I ask because I recently made friends with a guy on the train (after righting an injustice), and I wanted to offer him an opportunity that he would not otherwise be able to in a wheelchair. The situation had me perplexed for a few months…
Early on 2011 (before I smashed up my ankle) I have been spending time at family property in the Adelaide hills. They keep horses and motobikes on about 40 hectares of land. The views are amazing, there is much laughter … as the ‘Pony Ridge Lads‘ race along semi-established tracks and wet/harsh terrain on quadrunners and motorbikes.
One evening, whilst travelling home on the train, I was reminicing about a weekend of fun times, mud in my eyes and hauling a creek-bed-stalled motorbike up a hill alone … when my wheel-chair-bound friend zoomed onto the carriage, pulling on his ‘wheels with his ungloved hand to get better traction on the wet cement — I suddenly realised what I could offer.
The quadrunner is a 4 wheel motorbike. There are no pedals, the power is key activated and the accelarator is a lever on the right handlebar. Can you see where my mind was going? Surely!
Before I could discuss this idea with him, his station arrived and he departed. So I left my plans hanging to discuss with him next time we met. Now to get past his fears of stepping outside his normal habits.
What would you offer to someone with limitations – either mental or physical – and how would you word the question?
A few weeks later we finally met again on an afternoon train … whereupon I finally plucked up the nerve to ask him. After a quick final decision on the words to use, I asked him if he was interested in the chance to ride a motorbike in the Adelaide hills. I hadn’t yet asked the family who owns the property, but I wanted to see if he was interested before I bridged that part of the idea.
But that’s where I was surprised. Seems my new friend is most unwilling to step outside the known universe. He is comfortable within boundaries that don’t cause any damage to his body. I not only get it, I respect it.
It’s not easy to change our ways, take a new path, not even step outside the boundaries we put upon ourselves. What’s the answer to this situation? Personally, it’s simply to write it up as a lesson learned about human frailty.
Plus it becomes a question we all need to consider: At what point does our extra-curricular activity becomes a case of jackassery?!