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Re: [Adults AMC] What Using a Wheelchair did for me.

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  • Tracy Rousar
    Wow, thank you coach hughes for the empowerment, I would like to further get to know you... If you would like to chat sometime, please add me to your yahoo
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 1, 2006
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      Wow, thank you coach hughes for the empowerment, I would like to further get to know you... If you would like to chat sometime, please add me to your yahoo messenger, amc_jazzy_T...

      Thank you

      Tracy Rae

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: coachhughes50<mailto:coachhughes50@...>
      To: amc_adults@yahoogroups.com<mailto:amc_adults@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, June 30, 2006 10:52 PM
      Subject: [Adults AMC] What Using a Wheelchair did for me.


      Just adding my two cents, and I finally figured out how to post
      messages, pretty cool.

      Arthrogryposis effects my lower extremities. I can walk pretty well
      all things considered. I use crutches when I have to travel long
      distances or need greater speed. I have a B.S. degree in Physical
      Education/Adapted PE and Masters in Education (emphasis on Sport
      Psychology). My first wheelchair was custom made for me in 1999
      when I was 29 years old by a buddy of mine who wanted me to play
      wheelchair basketball with him. I fell in love with the game and
      two years ago was offered a full scholarship to play at the
      University of Arizona. My lovely wife (now 8 months pregnant! With
      our first! God help me!) supported my deciscion to leave my job as
      an APE (Adapted PE) teacher in San Diego to move out here to
      Tucson. Prior to my move my abilities in Wheelchair B-ball allowed
      me to play internationally and all over the USA. Travel to places
      like Canada, Japan, Mexico, Australia & Turkey all because I learned
      how to play ball in a wheelchair. I play other wheelchair sports as
      well (wheelchair football, Over the Line (baseball type of game)
      etc). Unfortunatley for me, I started my B-ball career a bit to
      late and although I'm a pretty good baller, not quite good enough to
      make it on the para-lympic team. Anyhow, here is the short list of
      what using a wheelchair has done for me (no particular order)
      It has:
      Allowed me to travel to many parts of the world for free
      Increased my fitness levels
      Increased my independence
      Increased my social life
      Increased my ability to make money
      Increased my self-esteem.

      I won't bore you with examples of all these items. I would like to
      say that with the arrival of my daughter (next month) I've finally
      decided to actually work full time at my buisiness as Independent
      Sales Rep (I basically do seminars promoting the use of certain
      wheelchairs, wheelchair cushions and other health products) I've
      also recently been hired as the head coach of the wheelchair track
      team at the UofA. I am a advocate of disabled sport and of health
      and fitness. If using a wheelchair can increase your independence
      or overall wellness (be it a power chair or Manual chair) then you
      should go for it. Wheelchairs have come a long way and are now and
      awesome tool which can in many cases allow individuals with
      disabilies to live more productive and healthier lifestyles. As an
      adapted PE teacher I would have my students that had some trouble
      walking work out in a wheelchair on occassion (this is not to say
      that we didn't try to improve their fitness through
      walking/swimming/jogging or whatever other ways) but I found it as a
      fitness teacher a great and safe way to get my students moving.
      Sports like Power Soccer/Wheelchair Rugby/Wheelchair Basketball can
      be great ways to meet people with similiar struggles. I've learned
      more about disabilities in the last 5 years from playing sport then
      I ever did just living my own experiences which is why I like
      reading all of your posts.
      If I can help or assist any of you in obtaining knowledge about
      certain wheelchairs or disabled sport please feel free to contact
      me.
      One last thing, I'm 35 now, and for most of my life I stayed away
      from using wheelchairs because of what I thought would be others
      reactions to me using a chair. Things like "he can walk...he must
      be lazy to use the chair", or my own belief that using a chair was
      giving up my independence. Now, my shoulders and wrist are starting
      to feel the use of walking on crutches, and overuse syndrome hits my
      deformed feet after about an hour of walking without aids. Use of a
      wheelchair helps prolong my ability to stand, walk, and remain
      independent for as long as possible. Wheelchairs are just tools
      like automobiles and planes. I love my wheelchair, and I thank my
      friend for making me my first one. I only wish I had used one
      earlier.

      FYI--This years Wheelchair Basketball MVP at the Collegiate level
      was a kid that had Arthrogyposis (not me, I'm no kid...)and he is on
      the para-lympic team.






      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • TERRY2745@AOL.COM
      THANK YOU 4 posting all that Pete!! hows baby Theresa Marie lol o, btw Michael still talks about how AWESOME you are!!! Email me about whatever painting u
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 1, 2006
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        THANK YOU 4 posting all that Pete!!
        hows baby "Theresa Marie" lol
        o, btw Michael still talks about how AWESOME you are!!!
        Email me about whatever painting u wanted ok??~~

        ~Theresa
        _Theresa's page_ (http://www.hometown.aol.com/terry2745/index.html)
        www.hometown.aol.com/terry2745/index.html

        "Don't you wanna go for a ride
        Just keep your hands inside
        And make the most out of life
        Now don't you take it for granted"
        ~Rob Thomas








        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Scott
        I think going from walking to a wheelchair can be a double-edged sword. I got an electric w/c after renting a scooter at Disney World about seven years ago.
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 18, 2006
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          I think going from walking to a wheelchair can be a double-edged
          sword. I got an electric w/c after renting a scooter at Disney
          World about seven years ago. It was the first time I had used
          electric scooter or anything. It was quite liberating for me. I
          currently use the chair about 50% of the time. I am 36. Below are
          some of my pros and cons as they relate to my specific situation, so
          they may not apply to you. Generally, I think the electric w/c is
          more positive than negative for me.

          Pros
          1) Much greater mobility - Instead of being 1/2 the speed of
          everyone else walking, I am now twice the speed of everyone.
          Needless to say, my range is much, much longer than walking. When
          someone wants to go for a walk, I can do it.
          2) Fun with kids - My son and other kids like to hop on the back and
          ride, or hang on the back and run behind me. It "allows" them to
          run in the store without being bad.
          3) "Normal" Factor - I know a previous post mentioned he felt
          more "normal" when he walked. In my case, my gait is so pronounced
          people look and wonder, etc. Since people are more used to seeing a
          w/c as opposed to someone walking with braces, I think first
          impressions are more positive with me wheeling in the room rather
          than walking. The "shock value" is diminished somewhat. I've
          discussed this aspect with close friends whom I trust and they
          agree. I highly doubt that anyone thinks I am being lazy for using
          the chair, except for my wife, who thinks I am just plain lazy
          anyway. LOL

          Cons
          1) Less exercise - I have noticed that I have gained some weight, no
          doubt to the fact I use an electric w/c. My walking range has
          diminished since I never have to walk long distances any more. I am
          sure my cardiovascular health isn't what it used to be.
          2) Lugging the chair around - I actually have a cheapo kind of
          electric w/c, so I can easily break it down and a collapse it. So I
          don't have to have a w/c accessible van. Still it is a pain to get
          it in and out of the car, assembling and disassembling. Worrying
          about curbs and stairs is also a pain.
          3) Cost - Need I say more about durable medical equipment..even with
          insurance?
        • Tiffany Holmlund
          I love my chair except for stairs and curbs but the idea of being able to play games with my kids and being able to go anywhere i want is cooler then being
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 18, 2006
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            I love my chair except for stairs and curbs but the idea of being able to play games with my kids and being able to go anywhere i want is cooler then being stuck. I have the problem of people staring and wandering as i walked. i get it worse when i wear my braces. but i love being able to get around my house without scooting or walking, i can hold babies and my kids easier in it then when on the floor. I let the kids ride on the back to and i use to get a quarter from kids in school for rides. i ran the princibile over once and got tons of speeding tickets in school that was my cons so i think the pros out weigh the cons. i actually would speed down halls to get to class on time after kissing my boyfriend in the lunchroom. Which now he is my husband for 9 yrs and been together for 14 yrs. it would have taken an hour to get to class because i would have to pause off and on and could not walk long distances. so it was a major help with that type of things. it does get in the
            way that i on't want to walk much anymore because i get to tired and don't feel like it. so i do see that being where its bad but i still work really hard with walking and keeping fit.

            Scott <kkamann@...> wrote: I think going from walking to a wheelchair can be a double-edged
            sword. I got an electric w/c after renting a scooter at Disney
            World about seven years ago. It was the first time I had used
            electric scooter or anything. It was quite liberating for me. I
            currently use the chair about 50% of the time. I am 36. Below are
            some of my pros and cons as they relate to my specific situation, so
            they may not apply to you. Generally, I think the electric w/c is
            more positive than negative for me.

            Pros
            1) Much greater mobility - Instead of being 1/2 the speed of
            everyone else walking, I am now twice the speed of everyone.
            Needless to say, my range is much, much longer than walking. When
            someone wants to go for a walk, I can do it.
            2) Fun with kids - My son and other kids like to hop on the back and
            ride, or hang on the back and run behind me. It "allows" them to
            run in the store without being bad.
            3) "Normal" Factor - I know a previous post mentioned he felt
            more "normal" when he walked. In my case, my gait is so pronounced
            people look and wonder, etc. Since people are more used to seeing a
            w/c as opposed to someone walking with braces, I think first
            impressions are more positive with me wheeling in the room rather
            than walking. The "shock value" is diminished somewhat. I've
            discussed this aspect with close friends whom I trust and they
            agree. I highly doubt that anyone thinks I am being lazy for using
            the chair, except for my wife, who thinks I am just plain lazy
            anyway. LOL

            Cons
            1) Less exercise - I have noticed that I have gained some weight, no
            doubt to the fact I use an electric w/c. My walking range has
            diminished since I never have to walk long distances any more. I am
            sure my cardiovascular health isn't what it used to be.
            2) Lugging the chair around - I actually have a cheapo kind of
            electric w/c, so I can easily break it down and a collapse it. So I
            don't have to have a w/c accessible van. Still it is a pain to get
            it in and out of the car, assembling and disassembling. Worrying
            about curbs and stairs is also a pain.
            3) Cost - Need I say more about durable medical equipment..even with
            insurance?






            ---------------------------------
            Do you Yahoo!?
            Next-gen email? Have it all with the all-new Yahoo! Mail Beta.

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Lindsay
            With me, using my wheelchair is an aid for when I m at the mall or another store where I walk more than five minutes before being able to sit down. I don t
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 24, 2006
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              With me, using my wheelchair is an aid for when I'm at the mall or
              another store where I walk more than five minutes before being able
              to sit down. I don't use my chair unless I absolutely need it, which
              is more times than not. So, I never thought of myself as taking the
              easy way out or being lazy because I'm the least lazy person I know.
              I don't use the chair at my house or anything. I never used my chair
              as an attraction for kids at school. It was my legs when my legs
              didn't work so well and I would go in front of the class on the first
              day of every school year and tell everyone about Arthrogryposis and
              that my chair, if needed, (I barely needed it back then) were my legs
              when my legs didn't work so well and that it wasn't a toy and if it
              got broken, then it could be a huge problem for me. No one ever
              messed with it or asked to play with it because I got that point
              across in the beginning. No one stared at me in school. In the
              general public, I find I get stared at more when I'm in the chair
              rather than when I walk. The chair is like the elephant in the room
              that no one wants to talk about but everyone wants to ask or stare.
              I've never felt "not normal" and I've never had the "oh pity me"
              state of mind. I suppose everyone's wheelchair experiences are
              different, but that's mine.

              --- In amc_adults@yahoogroups.com, Tiffany Holmlund <tiny292796@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > I love my chair except for stairs and curbs but the idea of being
              able to play games with my kids and being able to go anywhere i want
              is cooler then being stuck. I have the problem of people staring and
              wandering as i walked. i get it worse when i wear my braces. but i
              love being able to get around my house without scooting or walking, i
              can hold babies and my kids easier in it then when on the floor. I
              let the kids ride on the back to and i use to get a quarter from kids
              in school for rides. i ran the princibile over once and got tons of
              speeding tickets in school that was my cons so i think the pros out
              weigh the cons. i actually would speed down halls to get to class on
              time after kissing my boyfriend in the lunchroom. Which now he is my
              husband for 9 yrs and been together for 14 yrs. it would have taken
              an hour to get to class because i would have to pause off and on and
              could not walk long distances. so it was a major help with that type
              of things. it does get in the
              > way that i on't want to walk much anymore because i get to tired
              and don't feel like it. so i do see that being where its bad but i
              still work really hard with walking and keeping fit.
              >
              > Scott <kkamann@...> wrote: I think going from walking to a
              wheelchair can be a double-edged
              > sword. I got an electric w/c after renting a scooter at Disney
              > World about seven years ago. It was the first time I had used
              > electric scooter or anything. It was quite liberating for me. I
              > currently use the chair about 50% of the time. I am 36. Below are
              > some of my pros and cons as they relate to my specific situation,
              so
              > they may not apply to you. Generally, I think the electric w/c is
              > more positive than negative for me.
              >
              > Pros
              > 1) Much greater mobility - Instead of being 1/2 the speed of
              > everyone else walking, I am now twice the speed of everyone.
              > Needless to say, my range is much, much longer than walking. When
              > someone wants to go for a walk, I can do it.
              > 2) Fun with kids - My son and other kids like to hop on the back
              and
              > ride, or hang on the back and run behind me. It "allows" them to
              > run in the store without being bad.
              > 3) "Normal" Factor - I know a previous post mentioned he felt
              > more "normal" when he walked. In my case, my gait is so pronounced
              > people look and wonder, etc. Since people are more used to seeing a
              > w/c as opposed to someone walking with braces, I think first
              > impressions are more positive with me wheeling in the room rather
              > than walking. The "shock value" is diminished somewhat. I've
              > discussed this aspect with close friends whom I trust and they
              > agree. I highly doubt that anyone thinks I am being lazy for using
              > the chair, except for my wife, who thinks I am just plain lazy
              > anyway. LOL
              >
              > Cons
              > 1) Less exercise - I have noticed that I have gained some weight,
              no
              > doubt to the fact I use an electric w/c. My walking range has
              > diminished since I never have to walk long distances any more. I am
              > sure my cardiovascular health isn't what it used to be.
              > 2) Lugging the chair around - I actually have a cheapo kind of
              > electric w/c, so I can easily break it down and a collapse it. So I
              > don't have to have a w/c accessible van. Still it is a pain to get
              > it in and out of the car, assembling and disassembling. Worrying
              > about curbs and stairs is also a pain.
              > 3) Cost - Need I say more about durable medical equipment..even
              with
              > insurance?
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              > Do you Yahoo!?
              > Next-gen email? Have it all with the all-new Yahoo! Mail Beta.
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
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