Monday, February 22, 2010

Three new posts, an Anniversary and learning to fly sitting down

Three years ago I came back from the fencing competition where I collapsed. About today I started using the wheelchair full time. If I make it to May it will be the anniversary of when the people working on me thought I was going to die. I was more active back then, and so, ignoring that all the speed limit signs in my body had been removed, I ripped down hills and switchback corners. So when I finally said, “I don’t feel good” – Instead of fainting, I would just, stop breathing. These days, I still go past my limits, but in different ways. I wrote about it a bit in my post on the postcard project.
Plus the post has a kick-ass typewriter.

Right now, I focus on the short term goals. Getting to tomorrow. And getting to Sakura-con, to do the Times Colonist 10K and get to the start line. To get to the finish line. To get to the day AFTER the TC 10K. Then there is summer. Yeah, Linda is unemployed and applying.

She told me she has written a blog post on Sakura-Con on ‘A Girl’s Gotta Fly’ and she would really like you to read it. It is here. I haven’t read it. She just said that if you are confused the ‘paypal’ button is on the er…..right a part way down. I assume that is my right.

All I know is that I am selling books and DVD’s and stuff. And I am fever free (except for 4 hours) for a week now. Next goal: exercise – I am going back to boxing and badminton.

I won a Kodak film contest division about ‘Life in a Wheelchair’, a division not about work or family but the rest. The prize came in a big box. It is unopened.

The winner was the picture titled, Fly or Fall. I said that for me, every wheelchair user has to work out for themselves how they will see and how they approach life from a wheelchair.

For me, it is always flying. When I fall, I drag myself. Even having to rest every couple pushes going uphill it is flying, because I am out there trying. What is impossible? That which is never tried. Getting up the hill isn’t impossible, it just is damn hard some days. Yeah, there are lots of things that are impossible but if I had to do it all over again...I would have ordered the double thick titanium axles. Why NOT fly. Okay, it takes more risk, more energy, more planning, and has a higher probably of something interesting happening (which might or might not involve hospitalization). So where is the down side?

I am not wheelchair bound: I am learning how to fly sitting down.


Rebel Child of Light said...

Learning to fly - makes me think of the Pink Floyd song of the same title..

If I may..

Into the distance, a ribbon of black
Stretched to the point of no turning back
A flight of fancy on a windswept field
Standing alone my senses reeled
A fatal attraction holding me fast, how
Can I escape this irresistible grasp?
Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted Just an earth-bound misfit, I

Ice is forming on the tips of my wings
Unheeded warnings, I thought I thought of everything
No navigator to guide my way home
Unladened, empty and turned to stone
A soul in tension that's learning to fly
Condition grounded but determined to try
Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I

Above the planet on a wing and a prayer,
My grubby halo, a vapour trail in the empty air,
Across the clouds I see my shadow fly
Out of the corner of my watering eye
A dream unthreatened by the morning light
Could blow this soul right through the roof of the night
There's no sensation to compare with this
Suspended animation, A state of bliss
Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I...

You, my sister, dont need to learn. You are our teacher. It is us who learn from you.

Lots of love


wendryn said...

"I am not wheelchair bound: I am learning how to fly sitting down."

Awesome. *hugs*

Dawn Allenbach said...

You are Elizabeth Fucking McClung. Fly, fly, fly.

I myself made a bit of a publicity ripple yesterday. I'm getting ready to write it up on my blog.

FridaWrites said...

Three years is a pretty significant anniverary. I thought that you had been using one for longer when I first corresponded with you two years ago (was it really that long ago?, somehow doesn't seem it).

Congratulations on the Kodak award--that is one of my favorite photos ever. I'm curious about what's in the box! And congratulations on being fever-free!

Do the double thick titanium axles help the chair move more quickly?

Wheelchair Dancer said...

that is a gorgeous picture -- so beautiful -- so dance, so life-filled.

I know the position well. It does feel like flying.

Head down, wings up ...


deadrose said...

Sometimes it's like that - you have to focus on the next breath, the next push, the next step, and there will always be jam tomorrow. Maybe there will never be jam today, but there will always be jam tomorrrow.

I missed a lot of things in life because I'd see the big goal and it would be too overwhelming, too impossible to look at the path from here to there. Better to not even try than to fail miserably, especially if the failure involved 'wasting' money.

I'm trying now to focus on the small goals and quit focusing on the finish line. I need to appreciate the process as much as the end result. Teaching myself to use Photoshop has been very good for me in that respect. Every day I learn a little more or figure out something that I've been doing the slow, hard way.

Hope this reply has been coherent, I'm starting to migraine. Have a great day! I'm (luckily) about to go to bed for our 'night'.

yanub said...

Congratulations, Beth! I bet the competition was pretty stiff, too. Do you know if there will be a site put up with all the winners and runner-ups?

How can you not have opened the prize box yet?!!!!!! Open it! Open it! Tell me what it is! I'm all excited to find out.

I love the fight in you, the flight in you.

Raccoon said...

Yeah, that's a great picture. And you got a great big prize for it? Icing on the cake.

Why double thick titanium axles?

Remember, flying is nothing more than throwing yourself at the ground and missing.

Raccoon said...

Dawn, you were great on the video.

cheryl g said...

You always fly. Sometimes you fall but not for long. You fly in everything you do.

I am a little bit glad you didn't get the titanium axles. Having to keep the chair intact is a way to keep you from realy doing things that aren't safe.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Double thick titanium axles because I do so many things that people say, 'That's impossible' or 'That's too far' and I jump it, or back down it, that I want the assurance to be able to attack the barriers and never worry that my axle will bend. As that sucks and has already happened once (did get titanium, the seating therapist said: "Who would need them?" - now you know).

keatonsdad said...

Hi Beth,
Congrats on winning the award...the picture is AWESOME! I'm actually thinking of enlarging it to 18 X 24 and having it framed. Come on...tell us what's in the box!!


Neil said...

How can you NOT open the big Kodak box?!?!?

Three years... Has it been that long? Has it been that short a time??

At least after three years at a dentist, you would have the perfect smile.

Just one request, sweetie: put your ebay name somewhere where we can find it every time we've (I've) forgotten it? Thank you! I know it's something like l-b's stuff. I keep trying to remember to bookmark it, but it would appear that I've forgotten to do that too...

Love and zen hugs,

Lene Andersen said...

I love, love, love that photo!

And if it's been 3 years - ought I say congratulations? Happy anniversary? - that means we've been friends for 2 years now! Pretty damn cool...

Did I mention how much I love that photo?

e said...

That photo is terrific, Beth! I'm going to try and copy it so I cN frame it and put it where I see it every day.

You are one awesome wheelie sister!

Open the box and tell us what is in it...

Elizabeth McClung said...

Will open the box tomorrow - thanks for the compliment on the picture - I can send you a larger version than this if you email me (mpshiel at - Cheers.

rachelcreative said...

It is a great photo and a worthy winner. How exciting to have a mystery box.

Three years since you collapsed and here you are still talking about what is next, about forging onwards. The goals are shoerter term now but you still have goals.