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On Saturday 23/07/2016 I organised for the wonderful Meetup Wheelchair, Disability and Social group to go ice skating. Yes ice skating! There were 11 of us in total, 4 in electric wheelchairs, 1 manual wheelchair, 1 fellow with reduced eyesight who uses a cane and needs assistance, and 5 people who were there to photograph, skate, have fun as well as assist anyone if they needed it. They were:- My Mum photographing, me, Chris, Lucy, Sam and Tess all in wheelchairs. Lachlan who is vision impaired, and Vicky, David, Joanne and Chris's sister.
Once we all paid, got skates and found a spot on a very busy day on the side to dump all our things we all staggered on to the ice at different stages. One of the chaps, Chris who has joined the group recently, his Mum Vicky (who had told us about ice skating) had told us "you just get on and drive". Lachlan went on with David at first, Tess with Joanne and Lucy, Chris zoomed on there before I had even turned around, and then Sam and myself. Vicky and her daughter came later.
Vicky was absolutely right! There was one opening onto the very large rink. We zoomed to the opening and bounced over the slight lip of ice and onto the ice whilst dodging little children and people at the entrance. Everyone was skating in the same direction (imagine the chaos if not) so I basically ramped up the speed to the maximum and fanged it over to where Mum was for a photo opp ;) Once that was done I couldn't wait to turn around and hit the ice. There was no sliding, gliding or drifting, just my usual wheels with no additional attachments to them, just me, the wheelchair and the ice. IT WAS FANTASTIC, I LOVED IT As did everyone else. At 1 stage Lachlan was hanging on to the back of an electric chair, Lucy was being pushed by Joanne or David on ice skates, then Lucy (who was in the manual chair) had her scarf around my head rest and I was pulling her along. It was also fun to see the kids reactions who were on the ice and to chat to them. I even found a few following me at once stage and giggling. Time flew and before we knew it we'd been there for 2 hours, which was just the right amount of time.
We had so many laughs and it was terrific to meet Sam and Tess for the first time. Everyone is very special and I love to see them all at our social outings. I really look forward to ice skating again soon. There are some photos as well as videos attached so you can see what it was like as well as from a wheelchair persons point of view. Sadly I missed out on taking photos of Vicky, Lachlan and Chris's sister as I was skating, taking photos in between people whizzing past and around me, having heaps of fun and chatting. It was often so hard to see everyone on the ice, next time for sure.
I still have a smile in my heart every time I think about that day :) What's next, parachuting?
In a wheelchair permanently since early 2010 due to a disease called NMO. I am loving getting out and about in my wheels. My blogs capture my journey.