Friday, August 29, 2008

I am not “bound”

Regardless of what newspapers constantly print about wheelies or people with illness or disability, I am not “Wheelchair bound”, nor am I “bound by my disease” or “bound by disability.” And I am NOT “House bound.” I say that because today, while I went down to the video store on the off chance they had released Supernatural Season 3 early (they do sometimes if it is a long weekend). The person denied that and wondered why I didn’t call and then said, “Oh….that’s right, you like to go outside.” Spoken to me as if I was some rare and unusual form of human or odd for a person with a disability.

Yes, I like going outside. On my high school question sheet: “What do you want to be/do when you grow up?” I did not answer either, “In a small prison cell” or “In a locked sanitarium.” Does anyone?

It vexes me (yes, use the lisp, “I am Vexed, and Very Vexed!”), that “person with severe disability” and “person who is ill and stays in home a lot” someone makes my going outside to be an oddity, instead of a natural human desire (since I have notice most people DO go OUTSIDE!).
I will admit, when you have a severe disability going out is a risk, how long will you be stable, what if something happens? While at home everything is set up for you, as you like it, and if needed you can always go to bed, your medicine from pain to anything else is right there. It is a safe space.

I have found that new things and risks follow the rules of three, whether that is just going outside to look at things, going to a new restaurant or a vaction or a new whatever (like a sport). 1/3 of the time it will be horrid. It will be the vacation from hell. It will be the restaurant trip of disaster. Or if you have just gone out to look at the flowers, you will be stung by bees, have a pollen attack and be in bed for two days. BUT 1/3 of the time it will be OKAY. It will be a little bland, nothing super but not that awful either. And then 1/3rd of the time, it will be GREAT! These are the time when you go out to do a little gardening and see humming birds, or go to a restaurant and there is a woman who starts singing opera. This is the time you go for a picnic and see foxes or squirrels or deer.

But if you don’t RISK and have the 1/3 BAD experience and then TRY AGAIN, you don’t get the chance “Great” experience.

So first I am going to tell you how I am doing. I am in bad shape. REALLY bad shape. And the last three days I keep TRYING to get better, but somehow I get worse. So now, I cannot really move, and I need support for my head and I am in a lot of pain, and I need oxygen and did I mention the pain because it is so THERE that I think I am going to mention it twice. So that is where I am at (plus I didn't sleep much last night - pain again).

But this is what I am going to do, and this is what I am going to challenge YOU to do. Because I’m your friend, and that is what friends do, challenge us to go skydiving with them (not LIKELY!), or invite us places or push our boundries: but also be there to support us.

So, this is what I will do. I will go out this long weekend (for North Americans it is a long weekend). I will go OUT. I don’t know if that is to the park, so I can see squirrels or just to go around the block and photograph flowers but I will go out and I will record what I did this weekend. So that is part I (that means there is a part II).

So my challenge whether you are disabled, or not disabled, as your friend is to ask you, to challenge you, to go OUT. Go do something. Get outta here! Stop reading (wait until the end) and think about what you are going to do! Okay.

Now if that means that you get your caregiver to help you to the porch, that’s fine, that is OUT, outside. And if you are in the UK or here and it is raining, maybe you will need to wait a day or find somewhere ELSE indoors. But the thing is, we as human beings take BIG risks and we take little risks, and every time we go out, we are risking ourselves emotionally (we have expectations!) and physically (for some of us that is a higher risk than others). So being able bodied or disabled we are all human beings, and we all have fear and we all NEED to take risks (hey taking a shower is one of the riskier things around!). So go outside, take a risk, and see what happens.

The second thing is that this week I was sort of accused again of being a liar because I guess when you see me on youtube and pictures and all that, well, that just can’t be true or something. Or I am one of those unemployed people with some ‘fake’ disability who just suck down money from hard working people and the system (Except I don’t receive a penny from any agency). So for me, I will GIVE something to someone this weekend. That is a very human act I think, the act of giving.

I have been blessed from readers and other people who have given me things: postcards, hello kitty stuff and last week an anonymous gift of a human heart (seriously! It was very sort of E. A. Poe. Also what about me says "Give human heart" - never mind, don't answer that, I actually know that answer.). I appreciate each postcard and act that goes behind the gift. And sometimes I am able to tell them that and sometimes I am not but it doesn’t negate the act, or the effect, does it?

So my second challenge on this long weekend is to GIVE something to someone, or prepare to, if it requires mailing. If you are looking for something small and manageable I recommend a postcard or a letter – you probably own it already and then there is just a cost of a stamp, or you can hand deliver it if that is possible. Or give a book. Or give a flower.

I would ask this actually NOT be an act of spontanous kindness, to NOT be paying the change of the person ahead of you in line or counting helping someone carry groceries. Not that I am anti-kindness and kittens. I am very MUCH for kindness (and kittens). I think helping people is super!

But here is the challange to GIVE, to choose, to think, to decide who and what and why it is right for them is not spontanous, but something altogether different. It is the tangible way we humans say, “You make a difference to me.” Or “I care about you.” Or “I though you might like this.” Or “I wanted you to know I was thinking about you” or whatever the message is in why you give what you give (please, NO LUMPS OF COAL!).

So that is it, 1) Get out of here, go outside (just once in three days is enough to please me).
And 2) GIVE – give something to someone, if that is possible at all.

Why, because we are not people BOUND, we are not BOUND to our house, BOUND to the ideas that people have of us, BOUND by fear, BOUND by the idea that risk of doing anything is too great.

And as humans, it is rather normal to think of us, of ME, quite honestly, and while ME is a word that is fine and good, I am asking as a friend, pushing a little if that is how it feels to you, to think of how to make someone else happy. And I know that there might be in your life the pain and the stress and the condition, the family problems, the work and relationships issues. But just a little time, a little something for someone. Surely there is a co-worker or a relative you don’t HATE (well maybe at least a co-worker!). Someone you know, someone you have heard about, some child (kids actually LIKE presents), some old classmate or friend whose address you have sitting around and you just happen to have a pen and paper…hint, hint!

I will report back how things go. You can too if you want, or keep it private if you want or say “Elizabeth is a freaking nutcase”, if you want.

Also if you have no postcard and WANT a BLANK postcard sent to you, so you can send a postcard to someone else, let me know okay? I did a post on my last little batch over at the Postcard Project if you want some ideas(I made a new post today - hint, hint; you can go look even if you don't want some ideas - hint hint. You could even whisper: leave a comment).

Go outside – take a risk and care about yourself
Give something – take a risk and care about someone else.

This isn't a challenge to you, this is a challenge for me; it is just I want a little company for my risk taking.

We are not bound, I am not bound. I am not a person who is ODD because I have my conditions and yet I still choose to go outside. Part of being human is the ability of choice. I choose to expand my life, I choose to try and expand another’s life. I am a human being, unbound.


yanub said...

Ha ha! I've already almost met your challenges. Assuming I remember to go to the post office. And that feeding Carapace's cats counts as going somewhere. And, with any luck, my sister is going to come over, and show off what she's learned from belly dance class. I think this long weekend is going to go by fast.

I really do hate the term "wheel-chair bound," and I don't even use a wheelchair. It's such a stupid term that completely doesn't get the point.

Elizabeth McClung said...

I am a "user" like a "wheelchair user" or "16 months ago I became a wheelchair user full time" - becuase this is only one way to transport. As I did on Wednesday, I can drag myself with my arms, and I guess on an icy surface, drag myself with a chin. I am not BOUND, I am choosing a form of accessible transport. When I get the Jetpack - you'll all be drooling and no one will be saying, "She is 'jetpack BOUND'" - well except they will say, "She is using the Jetpack and just REBOUNDED off that building, geez, someone give her some lessons!"

Same with my home, I use my home space, I could be in a hospice, or a hospital or a care home and I can spend time using my accessible wheelchair to go places in and out of my home - this isn't S&M - I am not BOUND. Ack!

Congrats on passing the challenge - true, Carapace is away, too bad as I put up some pics of anime guys for her on the Postcard Project blog - yeah, belly dancing, that sounds fun.

Lene Andersen said...

I am not bound. The wheelchair liberates me.

Challenge accepted - it's supposed to be nice here in Toronto (my kind of nice, you'd have heat stroke in 2 minutes) and I plan to be outside A LOT. Am working on the giving part. Will report back.

FridaWrites said...

You have no idea how hot it is here, do you?? ;) A. The in-law's pool sounds good.
B. We're going to see that exhibit we've longed to see on Sunday. Actually, I think the kids will drag along and then we'll do something else for them.

On the way to dinner tonight, my son and his friend said that the second grade teacher that they have is using a wheelchair. I know she has bad spine problems and gathered by asking questions that it's a manual, not an automatic, and since she doesn't have a lot of upper body strength and has back pain, she's having to use her feet to do some of the peddling. So I decided at dinner and asked my husband about it if we could loan my old scooter to her while she recovers or until she gets what she needs (which for me was 8 months). We'd been planning to ebay or craigslist it because it's so painful, but it's a lot less painful than walking and saved me a lot this spring. Ironically, this is the teacher who abandoned me on a field trip when she took an inaccessible sidewalk, causing me to almost get run over because I couldn't move out of the way of a car. Among other issues. This explains the guilty looks she was giving me during my son's 504 meeting last week besides the look of pain, which I can recognize. But I know needs when I see them, and if she can use the scooter, I'll offer it. Becoming disabled has a quick learning curve about the difficulties, and I know she'll also be teaching others about her experience. I wish someone had lent me one last fall. My life would have been completely different and so much easier. Last fall was awful. It took me 6 weeks to even get an appt. with the durable med. equip. people.

Yeah, I don't like the term wheelchair bound either. I used to use it, but I was describing a time when I couldn't leave my house with my wheelchair pre-ADA nor get into and out of the bathroom or around other rooms in our house with it very easily. But yeah, with accessible space it's liberating, not binding.

Queen Slug said...

Did the heart come with suspenders with skulls on? If so that would be me, I realized I forgot to put a note in.

I accept the challenge & will let you know what I end up doing this weekend. Perhaps I'll go down to the farmers market. It should be nice this weekend.

Will take a bit more thinking to come up with a gift idea.

Victor Kellar said...

Collette and I are going to the CNE this weekend, our annual trip to the air show. This past week I have been "bound" to my home studio by deadlines. The only time I've gone out is take Miss Hayley on her walks. So even though I am abled I can still find ways to be bound. So, as Lene mentioned, a nice weekend in Toronto and off we go to get sunburnt faces looking up at the sky

Giving eh? You mean, besides to you? Ok, I get your point. I was saying to Collette that you've shown me a totally different side to postcards, as in more than Hi, this is us in Mexico eating the worm ... So I will think about that. Giving is always good.

Raccoon said...

I think I've got your challenges almost done, too.

I'm in the middle of sending of a package (I just need the package and to bring it to a post office), and I'm planning on trying to use up some gift cards that I've been given over the years, which means going to the stores.

I even went out today, although it was most definitely not a place you would like: the temperature was over 100°F (I have no idea what that is in centigrade -- 35? 40?). Of course, it's been in the 80s here all week...

I can't see as how someone who is paralyzed (partially or otherwise) would want to be bound, anyway. It seems kind of redundant. I mean, being bound prevents you from moving, and paralysis prevents you from moving...

And further giving -- I've still got postcards! Now to figure out what to do with them...

A Bear in the Woods said...

Assignment received. It will be acted upon.
I hope you get the good 1/3 this weekend.

SharonMV said...

I've already done one challenge - the hardest for me. I've gone out! Went to the craft store (where else?) yesterday evening. Have been wanting to go since last weekend, but was too sick. It was a brief, but fun outing. I may try to get out again, to do something "nature-y", if it's not too hot.

And # 2 is already started, in progress. So I don't know if that qualifies. I'll have to think of another gift or card (&another person) to send it to.


Anna said...

I 've got a new bad habit I start every conversation with "Darling" in a sort of drag queen I was going to write.

Darling, what a splendid idéa! I like challenges. Starting to think already (here in Sweden it is still breakfast time).

Sorry that you're body feels like shit, I hope it wins over the pain and that you get some relief.


shiva said...

"please, NO LUMPS OF COAL!)."

But what if someone really wants, or LIKES coal?

OK... that's just me being irritating. Coal is bad, I am an anti-fossil fuel activist, etc...

I am already doing #1 - i am about to leave the house to go to a one day disability arts festival in London... but, REALLY annoyingly, my camera is broken (I do have a very old, very crap (no zoom!) compact FILM camera, but no idea how to get photos taken with it into digital format)...

I am sorry i didn't leave comments on your last 2 posts - i wanted to, but really couldn't think of anything helpful or useful to say... I want some good stuff to happen to you, but i know me saying it isn't going to make it happen... :(

I have been meaning to send you something, i just haven't decided what. (I did have a surreal sense of humour moment and decide to go to a DIY/hardware store and see if they had screws in a certain semi-precious metal, but they didn't... yeah, that would have been an odd conversation - "so, why do you want them in BRONZE?" "Because i want to send them to my online friend in Canada..."

Next time somdone asks you if you are "wheelchair bound", you should reply "only with my Hello Kitty handcuffs and my consent"... ;)

KateJ said...

This morning lurking amidst the junkmail and bills was another of your amazing postcards. And a Japanese one this time! I feel really honoured.
I'd like to report - I went out today and did some really hard work in the garden, pulling up all sorts of weeds that were making my place look like the land that time forgot... and yesterday (before I'd even seen this particular post, I'd chosen and bought a lovely scented candle called "tranquillity" for one of my friends who is far from tranquil right now - she's a single mum on disability, and her very sick, elderly but much loved dog has just pretty well wrecked all her carpets (I'll spare you the gutty details but you can imagine!). I am giving her some practical help with cleaning the carpets, too, before you think I'm just into gestures.
And I have never yet met a disabled person who liked the term "wheelchair-bound", it's a terrible term. Equally bad is "confined to a wheelchair." I actually thought the point of the chair is that it gave mobility and opportunities to someone to get out and about, rather than be "bound" or "confined" to anything.
THanks again for the card!!!

Neil said...

Elizabeth you ARE a nutcase. You're just the sort of nutcase, though, that we need a whole lot more of. And you are Odd; you want to live as much as possible. Too many of us just shuffle through life, trying not to make waves, trying to "fit in" or doing the minimum required of us.

Your challenges to get us out of our everyday ruts, even if it's just looking at a normal day differently; that's what makes you odd, and what makes you so wonderful.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for being the odd, wonderful nutcase that you are. Thank you for the challenges, and thank you for changing my life. I think I'm a different person (better, I hope!) for meeting you and your blog.

Now for the challenges... I AM somewhat bound today: by time. We have to buy new gym shoes for our back-to-school urchins. There are other mundane shopping things we need, too. But at least we'll be out and about. Unfortunately, we are also, like too many others, bound by money. But there will be a decision as to who to buy something for, and what to buy. Something not too big, or expensive... should it be useful or frivolous? Hmm...

Zen hugs, and more zen hugs while I think on your second challenge.

desdemona said...

I have not yet read your post and I may not finish reading it at all today, but:
a) I do not generally like outside. I don't know why. But given the choice to stay home and do something here or go outside 90% of the time I will stay home. Yeah, maybe I am strange.
b) Even though I rather stay home we went outside today. There's a 100 year celebration at the mini airfield in my town this weekend and we actually went there and spent most of the day in the sun, watching planes, watching my son play, watching my daughter watching the other kids,... And: We'll even do it again tomorrow, if it doesn't rain. We'll even take food and make it a picnic. So there.

And all that was decided before I even read your blog. How's that for telepathic abilities ;-)

Gaina said...

'Wheelchair bound' hmmm....yes, that has many kinky possibilities. Might hang onto that thought for my art project lol.

If the weather actually breaks for a second I'll get out and taken some photos :).

I got my post card this morning, it's lovely! Thank you xx

Wheelie Catholic said...

Yes I'm up for your challenge too. Halfway there, and it's only mid-afternoon Saturday. Thanks so much for your beautiful and thoughtful postcard.

Wheelchair bound is so representative of the boxes society puts us in. At my blog I put up a post about parents dropping the ball when I was with a blind friend trying to get past their kids playing ball on a mall sidewalk- and it led to a discussion that is all over the map about wheelchairs, mobility, how wheelchair users need to understand rude people might have invisible disabilities and on and on. I'm well used to the fact that when I speak up about the right to wheelchair mobility, there's a push back. But I'm not *bound* to spend my entire weekend bloggin' - I'm going out.

Roslyn said...

This has to be the only time I've read something that made me want to go outside. I'm a very typical geek (no particular specialty: geek-of-many-trades) and it doesn't help that going outside alone makes me nervous (partialy sighted) and recently my friends ditched me after a fight about my ex-girlfriend.

It counts if I go out on Monday, right? ;-) Momma's gonna buy some new shoes 'cos she's worn her old boots to DEATH. The soles are coming off at the heel ;_;

Also, going to see about getting a hamster. Maybe. If my mum agrees.

For the record, I'm 20 >_>

As for giving, I don't know . . . it makes me consider extending an olive branch to the aforementioned friends, but I don't know whether they're worth it. They mess me around so.

I think I'll try to find out my boyfriend's new address in Canada and send him something. E-mails are so rubbish at showing emotions, unless you count *shudder* emoticons <3


If I can figure out how to send a nice, cheerful random item to him at a reasonable price (i.e. so I can still eat) then I'll damn well do it *determined nod*

Now, off to look at New Rock boots online and figure out whether to let myself buy a pair yet.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Roslyn: I am glad you are still here and commenting (but when are you going to email me so I can send you a postcard). Monday today counts since we have a long weekend so you should too. Yes, sometimes it does become difficult deciding who to gift, that's sort of part of the excerise, as it were. Trying to reflect on that. Sounds like a plan. My gift was about 4 pounds if you live in the UK or $8 if you live in the US, but the person seemed pretty happy to get it.

Lene: Great to hear that your pain has abated enough to go and enjoy the heat (why not, I used to like saunas, I still do, it is just they kill me, but I still like them, hee, hee). Good luck on the gift - thanks for taking up the challenge.

Frida: Well, I have visited
Texas and living in LA without air con so I have some idea, I can imagine it playing havoc with a chronic condition. I think you might have already had your bad 1/3, so I hope this next trip out is your GREAT 1/3.

Thanks for letting me know about the second grade teacher and I think your are giving her two gifts - the scooter and the forgiveness one gives to someone whose ignorance has changed to enlightenment. It does go to show how I think many if not all people are potential allies, I just wish they wouldn't be such annoying, condescending (bleeps) until they BECOME an advocate! Hee

Queen Slug: it did come with suspenders, and thank you for the gift, just I guess I must be the only person on my blog where delivering human hearts (from an anatomical company) is sort of NORMAL to my postperson. I am going to try that idea too, farmers markets and good things because I see lots, I spend little and I can stay out as long or short as my body will allow (the problem is in figuring that last bit out) good luck to you.

Victor: I hope the air show goes well, the snow birds gave us a sort of private show as we are so close to the inner harbour a while ago they had to CLEAR our building to make thier circuit, so we got a VERY close view.

I think that you and Collette are givers so I don't expect that to be hard for you.

Raccoon: too true, your condition is an acknowledgement of part of you, but getting bound up, that's just what rocks your boat (or not).

I love gift cards, they are like spending but without any of the spending guilt - plus your balance is about the same at the end of the day.

I have been thinking of you today, of and on many times. Why is it your are on my mind so much today? Well 100 degrees, ug. I hope you have air con transport (there is a woman up here GIVING away a van through the Para society but it is from 1988 and I can't get a licence, but it has a lift and everything!).

Bear in the Woods: All right. I have tried to do the assignment, like everything all too much and all at once, so I enjoyed what I did but I kind of ended up with a bit of a "recovery" - oh well, going out with a bang is actually not that great, particualarly if it covers people with goo! (sorry, I'm just in that type of mood).

Sharon: All right, I am with you, actually, because of your post convince Linda to take me to a craft store. Ha ha so now you are "inspiring me" to go out. I have absolute faith in your ability and your heart. Did you get my card?

Anna: oh we are going to talk like that? in that case;

Girlfriend! You have GOT to get up and go! Cogitate a solution so we can paint this town and then retire for cocktails. Absolute fabulous darling!

Shiva: Good one, so true, what if they love the coal? I am in evy of your trip to an disability arts fesitival and in envy of your being London - I was to go to the V&A and look around (I always liked doing that).

Haha - the bronze screw - I think we must have a similar sense of humor as that sounds brill - I get an idea to do something and then do it - like when I wanted to get Linda some Strawberries with brandy, the resturant, didn't do takeout. I went to an antique shop and bought a plate? Would they put it on that. Yes, but no cultery, went to another store and bought a fork and they finally gave in and I marched out (pre chair days) to customers cheering me on as I went to over to Lindas work with brandy covered strawberries held high.

As for not commenting, I couldn't really comments, just narrate. I look forward to reading about your disability art experience.

Shea said...

Sure, I can take your challenge. We are going to get the garage all cleaned out and organized so I can prepare for a yard sale for our adoption, and I will give some things away as well. I have a nephew who is addicted to yugi o and I bought him some cool book covers today. I was saving them for Christmas, but he deserves them now, so I will give them to him sooner. He's a good boy and very sweet, some say too sweet for a little boy, so school and such is hard for him. This will make him smile, and he needs to smile more.

anabel said...

Great challenge and by golly I've completed it! I saw Melissa Etheridge at the Greek Theater last night (outdoors) and helped a friend pack for a move today. Also visited one of my students in the hospital.

I've never thought of you as "bound."

Elizabeth McClung said...

Kate J: I am glad you got it, how could I see the wonder on Monmouth and not respond in kind.

See, we are of like mind - good job on the garden and the Candle, I was looking for a nice candle to give Linda today at a Farmers market but found none (all bath salts). Even had one person say, "don't take a picutre of my products" - um, okay, I guess the world of Farmers Markets is more cutthroat than I thought?

Yes exactly, like you much go out and be "Boat bound?" Doesn't quite work, makes an assumption the person is without choice, and like I said, once I get the jetpack they won't be using THAT term anymore!

Neil: You have no idea how bad I want to live, and how much I want to live. Some times, the feeling washes over me that there is a mistake, that it should be ME out in the sun, going for a bike ride with Linda, going for a jog with her, going to museums, me, out there, not in here, needing people to help me, people to assist me, unable to feed myself. This can't BE my life.

But it is, so I will push every boundry I have to take everything I can find in it. And if that means prodding a few friends to remember to take some time out of the drugery to look around and remember that life isn't that ALL the time, then I will.

I think we are both better by our interactions, I do. And that is the point, of the gift, of living, as T. would say, "deliberately" - and even a kiss, at the right time, is a gift.

Desdemonia: your response is not the most heartening - not for a blogger. But at least you are honest! (Haven't read you, may not soon!).

You are not strange, home is where things are comfortable, in control and we get to make all the decisions. But there aren't a lot of spontanous surprises. Today we went outside and found ourselves amoung a flock of birds flitting around eating berries, all at waist and head height. Not something that happens inside (at least not in MY house).

I am glad you went, I am glad the children played and I am glad you are having a picnic. So there back at you!

Gaina: I always find when you try to involve the wheelchair in sex play that it is just too cumbersome, sort of makes it three in the bed, if you know what I mean.

Huzzah on your getting the postcard and huzzah on getting out! Now, to the gifting!

Wheelie Catholic: thanks for commenting, we have been thinking of you lately, particularly as Linda keeps saying, "Send that card to Wheelie Catholic" and I have to say, there are OTHER people on the list!

Wow, halfway there, cool, I will drop by your site, I saw that you covered the swimmer at the olympics too (in fact I linked to you, woot!).

No, you are not "bound" when the whole AB north America seems determined to whoop it up to stay inside and blog - You are USED to getting pushed back when you speak up for wheelchair mobility rights? Sigh. I am glad I am not there quite yet. Not that I don't get pushed back, I am just still surprised.

SharonMV said...

Beth at the craft store! We no longer have a stamp store in the vicinity - nor a needlework shop (not for years), so for instant (or at least quick)gratification & for the visceral, physical shopping experience, i must troll the aisles of Joann's or Michael's. I chose joann's cause it is the one that has the wheelchair. But you can find a few treasures & get many ideas while perusing those aisles. I hope you have fun.

Yes I did get the card & was going to e-mail you today. Love the raven stamp & the story. My body & the weather were uncooperative today. But I did get a start on challenge 2 (a new gift/card for someone, not the other project that was already underway).

I didn't refer to myself as housebound, not even in the several years that I never got out but for doctor appointments, medical stuff. And I missed quite a few medical appointments too. I'd say "i don't get out much" or "I'm stuck at home a lot when I'm sick", if the matter came up.


ismith said...

I went sort of randomly wandering in the neighborhood, and found a farmer's market - albeit too late, as it had just closed. The highlight, though was discovering that apparently there's a local guy who dresses up as Abe Lincoln and drives through town on a Segway. Fucking awesome.

That, or zooming down the street after dark (if my scooter's 5mph counts as 'zooming'), and hearing someone say: "HOLY CRAP THAT'S FAST". Yay for after-dark zoomage.

Kelli said...

I'm a little late reporting back, but I took up the first part of your challenge this weekend. Physically leaving my apartment isn't the hard part for me; it's what I do (or don't do) once I leave. So this week I tried to say hello and make small talk at the farmer's market, and after church on Sunday, instead of slipping out the door and biking home right away, I walked over to the room with the tables (I'm sure it has a name, but I don't know what it is) with someone else (which required me to keep up my end of the conversation) and then stood and chatted with some of the other people from church. I know this doesn't sound particularly adventurous, but for me, being outdoors is easy. Being indoors with people is what makes me push my boundaries.

Still working on the second part of the challenge.