Today, the Melbourne Half-Marathon is being run..and even though I didnt ‘run’ it myself, this Event will always have a special place in my heart….
One year ago today, is the day that I was inspired to get up and attempt to walk again, after 17yrs of using my wheelchair – inspired by an incredible man by the name of Mark Rostoks. Mark is a man who also uses a wheelchair due to his medical condition he has been dealt in life…but he hasnt just ‘sat idle’ letting life pass him by – he is living life ‘the bucketlist way’ himself. His website is 150 Buckets on the Wall , I urge you to go check out some of the awesome ‘buckets’ he has ticked off (filled?), on his list (and future ones he wishes to do)! Mark, you are amazing…the adventures you get up to, are just awesome haha…! 🙂
So, what about Mark had inspired me to get up after all that time, to attempt to walk again? Well, this man decided one day that he wanted to complete a half-marathon – so he did, he made it happen! He, and his support team of ‘pushers’ for his chair, raced all that distance, and crossed over that Finish Line…and that right there, knowing that Mark was not only attempting, but achieving this, was when I decided that ‘Anything really IS Possible’…this was when a HUGE spark of an idea hit me…it hit me like lightning…
That afternoon, when my gym was open, I headed down there with such an incredible sense of focus and determination, it was amazing to feel. I decided then and there before I headed out, that I was going to take my crutches which had sat in the cupboard for 17yrs, and attempt to stand up at the gym. How empowering to feel, that I had decided, after all this time, to do this, all by my own thinking – not directed by the doctors/physios etc – this was all my doing (inspired by Mark, of course)!
I arrived at the gym, feeling quite nervous…I had no idea what was in front of me, I had no idea if it was going to end up in failure, I didnt know whether I would just end up falling over, making a fool of myself – but, I was determined to at least try it. After arriving at the gym, and telling staff what I was about to attempt (partly because I was proud of my decision even if I hadnt attempted it yet so I wanted to share this with them, and partly because of the ‘comfort zone’ stuff – I just needed to know that ‘someone’ knew what I was doing, just in case something went wrong), I decided to just DO it. This was SO far out of my comfort zone – but, that didnt stop me…once I set myself a challenge, theres no going back…I have to do it…lol…
Slowly but surely, after I set my arms in place on my crutches, I stood up…
In the last 17yrs, I hadnt been permanently in my chair, as in, yes Ive used my chair as my tool to get through life, but I have stood up plenty of times, and got my chair in and out of my car etc (while holding onto some sort of support, the car etc)…but this was different…this was purposely standing up tall, in the one spot….with the thought of walking down the path, away from my chair (my ‘security blanket’ of sorts).
OK…now came the moment of truth. With me, if I know I can do [—–] (this much)…..I immediately want to do [———————————] (THIS much)…haha. Merely ‘standing up’ wasnt enough for me, at this point. Oh noooo…haha no way….I had my sights firmly set on the pathway in front of me, around the fitness equipment. After steadying myself (I was feeling a little nauseous at this point, and, not dizzy, but a little light headed, because of the different ‘sense of gravity’ I now had (my body was now getting used to standing up straight in the one spot, instead of sitting in my chair), I slowly and deliberately set off down that path. It was a path of approx. 15 metres…and I had no idea if I was able to make it down that path….but I was determined to try. How could I not? 🙂
One foot in front of the other, my focus purely set on where each foot was going, and keeping them straight ahead of me (I have no feeling in my feet, so even though I move my leg forward, I have no control over whether the foot follows suit lol….in that sense, the feet have a ‘mind of their own’). I have no idea how long it took me to reach the end of that pathway, but when I reached it, Wow…what a moment for me. As I turned around, and reminded myself where my chair was, and saw it (right up the other end of the path)….panic set in. This was WAY out of my comfort zone….’what if I fall over, what if I cant make it back, what if…..??’. But…the only thing I had to do WAS make it back…what else was I going to do – ask a staff member to get my chair for me? NO WAY! haha….
Slowly, but a little more confidently than on the way down, I made my way back up the path…I made it back to my chair. I made it…I DID it! 😀 What an amazing sense of achievement, in that small distance! When I got home, I decided then and there, that, even though my aim is not to get back up and walk ‘permanently’ again, that is just not a ‘want’ I have for my life now (my chair enables me to keep up with my pace of life….struggling around on the crutches for the first 24yrs of life, compared to being in my chair and being able to get around faster, and with much less tiredness and stress on my body and mind – well, there is no comparison really. My chair ‘suits my lifestyle’ now) – I decided that I was going to do ‘something further’ with this standing up and walking business 🙂
I got to thinking….’hmmm….what else can I do, what things do I see others do in life, that Id really like to at least attempt to do?’. …and so my Fitness Goals (Climbing a Mountain, Walking down the beach, and having a Slowdance), journey was born. As Ive shared on here, and on my Fitness Goals site….WHAT an incredible journey this has turned into!! From standing up..to taking a few steps….to attempting to climb mountains…haha…whats NEXT? 😉
Hmmm….Steve Johnsons Supercar beast is #17 (the beast I raced in, last year, which was the start of my incredible Chasing my Dreams journey)…I stood up to walk after 17yrs of using my chair…the half-Marathon which Mark completed was on July 17 last year. Oooooh….haha….
Thank you Mark Rostoks for your inspiration…this, what Im putting myself through with attempting to achieve my HUGE Fitness Goals in such a special way, at my Fundraiser Event, is all YOUR fault! haha.. 😉 But seriously…Marks inspiration (even though he didnt know it at the time, what he had inspired me to do), has changed my life in the most incredible, special way..I will always be thankful to Mark, for this 🙂 x
Chasing my Dreams….one step at a time!