Accepting disability, adapting and adventuring!


For the best part of my life I’ve, pretty much, done anything and everything to try and hide my disability. it hasn’t always worked, to be honest, anyone that spends a good amount of time in my company soon realises something isn’t quite right, but I muddled through my younger years and lived life as best I could without any public declaration.

So as my conditions deteriorated the thought of using any form of aid or appliance was a no go for me. I may have a masters in advertising but I had no interest in promoting my disability, and the thought of a cane, let alone a mobility scooter, just seemed like a flashing neon sign to hang around my neck.

The obvious downside to all this is, I wanted to still do the things I loved, like visiting the National Trust, fishing the lakes and rivers off the beaten track and simply just going outside with the family and dog for a walk, picnic or mini adventure. But instead, my pride held me back so…
I stopped walking the dog with my fiancee,
I stopped going to my favorite fishing spots,
I stopped exploring the National Trust
I stopped country walks and urban exploration in favor of sitting in a cafe or on a bench, watching my family walk off into the distance as I didn’t want them to miss out on the fun just because I couldn’t do the walking anymore. I had stopped living.

Then a few amazing things happened in my life. I got to learn to fly with the charity FSDP, please see my youtube channel for all the details… I digress.

Anyway, as part of my flying adventure, I met an amazing guy called Dan.
Dan your an inspiration! possibly one of the worst thing you can say to a disabled person and something me and Dan would joke about regularly during the 3 weeks we spent with each other.  That’s Dan in the back of the plane.
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Well, Dan could see how much I was struggling some days with just the pain and walking and kept saying to me you need to get a scooter. to which my reply was normally “go away” but less polite version. but eventually, it started to sink in and the more I got to know Dan the more I was realizing that it’s not a bad thing to accept that you need help from time to time. halfway through the 3 weeks, I had to return home for a weekend and while back the weather was great and the family wanted to visit Attingham Park before we got there I said to my Fiancee, I’m hiring a scooter. I almost bottled it in the car a few times but that day was the first time I had ever been on a mobility scooter.

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Driving around that day was amazing, I saw parts of the park I had never been to and when we got to the adventure playground and I had all my energy to play with the children. At one point a little boy 4 or 5 stopped and pointed, my heart sank as his Dad turned to look and I suddenly felt embarrassed until he exclaimed “Wow Dad that’s so cool, can we get one” that just made me smile.

That night I posted the above photo on my Facebook page, Id bit the bullet and wanted to show everyone, this is me. A guy I know from fishing in the local area commented and it stuck with me.

“Mate, never let anything get in the way of doing the things you love” 

I realised then, that all along the only person with prejudice was me and honestly, no one else cares!

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