Sunday, 15 July 2012

Navigating London in a wheelchair (part 2)

After yesterday, I suppose I should have predicted how tired I would feel waking up, but I underestimated by a long way!

Muscles I'd forgotten even existed in my arms and my right (i.e. non-broken) leg were sore as soon as I woke, but I managed to wash, dress and get down to breakfast in the hotel this morning. 

The Travelodge staff were excellent at breakfast, they helped me to a table and collected my breakfast for me, then helped me to reception to check out and out onto City Road to head back for another day with Leaders. 

I was astonished, however, that whilst I was eating breakfast, someone moved me out of their way! I suppose I was taking up a bit of space in a wheelchair, and he wanted to get past, so he pushed me forward into the table. It took me a second to register what had happened, I spilled the drink I had in my hand. 

I thought I was running late for the morning session, and admittedly I suppose I was a bit cocky, so I tried to make my way along City Road on my own. It's a five-minute walk, but took me about half an hour even with some help from nice people along the way. Again, one or two people took it upon themselves to move me in the wheelchair without asking, or telling me what they were going to do. I admit that I was struggling, but I was embarrassed to be struggling, and I felt even more embarrassed when I was just moved out of the way like an inanimate object. 

I wouldn't attempt something like that again - it was a pretty stupid idea - but I'll admit I was pretty pleased with myself when I did finally make it to the office. 

I had great fun in the morning with fellow-Leaders Katie and Tolu leading a session on developing and strengthening the Leaders' network to achieve even more in the next twelve months than we have in the first year. We played a game at the beginning of our session where we asked people to label each other with a range of tasks they've completed in their time as volunteers. I had my labels collected on my cast - which had remained stubbornly undecorated over the previous ten days! 

Later on, some of the girls took it a step further, so that before I left for church I had collected three very sweet messages! 

Thanks, Rochelle, Rach and Sophie!
It always sucks to say goodbye at the end of the weekenders, but I hope we're all pretty fired up and looking forward already to the next one!

I was lucky again to have some fab support getting to church, in the form of a lift from Debbie. She wrestled my heavy and clunky wheelchair single-handedly into the car and braved the wrath of Camden's many over-keen traffic wardens to get me there. I honestly wouldn't have managed it otherwise - I couldn't have either got a cab or a bus without pretty serious difficulties.

Was lovely to be back at church after some time off - and I was really pleased that I managed to get up to celebrate communion and pray with some of the congregation against the odds. I had another lift home from one of the deacons, and am now thoroughly exhausted. 

I'll sleep well tonight. 


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