Monday, 28 September 2009

Went to visit my Mum at Ecclesall, it would be great if I could cycle, but I think even if I had a power assisted one it might take me too long. And besides it's nice catching up with my mate.

I cycled to school, can I add 'doesn't wheeze much for a fat lass'?

Got back, I needed to speak with Steve really regarding the bike that my solicitor is going for in the divorce court on Wednesday. Spoke with Dave instead and Nigel, and Fred. So I'm happy, I feel like a useful person. Which is exact opposite to my personal life.

I am on a bit of a roller coaster, which hopefully will culminate with my final divorce hearing. It's only taken 3 years. And I know I've been unbearable with my insecurities, but hopefully normality will resume as of Thursday. I just hope I can concentrate on Tuesday/Wednesday, when I will be learning how to use the disability bikes. It's nice, because the CTC are covering the cost of my instruction. And Nigel (Health Champion person) is paying for transport there and back.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

My wee boy woke me at 3, then at 7. Wanting to know if it was time for BMX day yet? He was unbearable, but I was very proud that he was so into something so healthy. And I suppose I was pleased that I was encouraging it.

My daughter spent all morning, in the shower and applying her 'slap'. She was only interested in the boys who may be at the BMX day. (Her mother's own daughter, as the saying goes :) )

I was delighted to see A* today, it was great. I don't know if I had any influence on her decision to go, but she did really enjoy herself. And hey, I do come in useful sometimes (as the bag minder!) A* did really well, in the older persons group. My boy, on the other hand, was not a 'happy bunny' - he got given a smaller bike, with flowers on!! Anyway I reckon, if I can communicate with A* about the next one, she will definitely go.


Oooooh I've just had a strange man phone, (tipped off by the lovely Fred). He wants to come and snip my bush;) - That is, take my otherwise wasted eating apples, and give em to the needy.

I had to take Gretel for a wee spin.

Do I sound like Julie Andrews?

Friday, 25 September 2009

Do you know what? (And I'm quite ashamed.) I ain't been on Gretel today!!!!

I did my bit for Health Champions though, I found out about BMX day, phoned A* from Cycle for Health, and she's gonna see me at Meersbrook Park tomorrow, when I take my wee boy for some BMX riding.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

I think I need a cold shower to bring me back to the real world, I can only liken this feeling to falling in love, when I may experience butterflies in my tummy. And such excitement! But this isn't about a man!! It's about 3 wheels and making other people happy just by exercising and smiling occasionally! (Ok, I do a bit more.)

Before I forget I must say a big thank you to A*, one of my Cycle for Health partners, who taught me very effectively to get up the hills in the park today. (Sorry Steve, I know the hills aren't big, I was just feeling particularly feeble that day).

This woman came up to me at the end of Cycle For Health and hugged me today for being inspirational. It was totally out of the blue. But she said I had been one of the reasons she had continued, and she was really pleased she had :) - because she could now ride a bike independently.

Earlier on today, my lovely Fred had been on a dual pedalled recumbent bike with J* who had difficulty seeing. Because I am doing my Disability Cycling course on Tues/Weds of next week, I was eager to have a go on the bike with J*.

I asked her if she'd mind showing me, and in fact be my left leg, and I'd be her eyes. Fortunately she said yes, and a match was made in heaven. It was great.

Amanda from Pedal Ready and I went for a ride round the whole park after lunch, which I really enjoyed because I nearly managed it all. I'm confident by the end of the course it will be no problem.

I got home, and Nigel (HC), Steve (CTC), and Dave (PR) had left glowing messages of support, which I loved.

Ohhh I nearly forgot, my children and I have just waved goodbye to my electric scooter, which I couldn't have managed the last 3 years without. But when people see me on it? Well it's hardly a very attractive feature, and really doesn't match the person I believe I am.

I see myself as independent now, not dependant on a scooter or anyone to drive me.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

I cycled to the bus stop this morning, and do you know? I now do it without thinking. And I feel like I've achieved something when I get to the bus stop. (Don't laugh, I know it ain't far.)

My mate's coming from Leeds tomorrow evening, I suggested we meet at the 'Deli Junction' or the Mohul, and we will cycle. (This is ace, what freedom!!!)

Hey, I've got Cycle For Health tomorrow, I did enjoy it last week. (I'm wondering if Fred went home with my silk scarf, it did suit him!) It gives me such a buzzz being appreciated, for just being me :)

I think it's a healthy snooze? - But when I've cycled, I come home and sleep for 30 mins. Is it normal? Or am I a lazy git? I did go to town this morning, and get my moby fixed, so I can take photos at last.

I'm happy!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

I'm gushing with love for my fellow man again. I've been in a super mood, I think because it's been so sunny and I started the day with a short ride, just for the sake of it really.

I spoke to Steve from the CTC, who is the hero in all this really. He has plans for me to speak at a conference, which is so exciting. And he's so right, disability cycling has given me an interest, and it really suits my personality, because it has so many different possibilities, and I can see ways it would help folk who may have certain things in common with myself. (Not just the disability thing, but being a single mum who doesn't drive, gaining weight, but not really having the opportunity to do anything about it. Because naturally children come first.)

Anyway I'm glowing now.

At the school gates were the usual mums. I handed the mum who'd helped me a bottle of wine for fixing my bike yesterday. And she gave me her moby number and said I could call her if ever I had a problem :) Bless, how nice.

I rang and made arrangements for the Mobility folk to collect my electric scooter on Thursday and when I told my friends, they were tearful, (silly things) and they said pretty much the same as Steve had been saying: how I was busy now doing CFH and being a champion.

These were the mums that saw me reach rock bottom, when I'd see my husband collect someone else's children at the school gates. It was a sad time, and I think unfortunately I may have met Nigel when I was part of PFI (partners for inclusion). Oh well, he may have seen the change in me then.

I'm very happy because Nigel has given the go ahead for me to pay my 'PA' to take me to be a health champ at CFH on Thursday at hilly Hillsborough. I know I will see lovely Fred there.

("Who looks nothing like Robert Patterson!!! cos' Rob Patterson is the most god like creature on this planet!!!!!!" - that was my daughter, soz!!)

Monday, 21 September 2009

People are just sooo nice, it's incredible the effort some folk will go to to help others. Or is it just me? I don't think they do it out of pity or owt, I hope not anyway. My friend was round offering support over techy things, folk know me tooo well!! Anyway, he's a nurse as well, so I needed him to check out my.......hand;)

I rushed to the coop, and 'Gretel' was poorly, I could tell she was difficult to ride. But I needed to go to see my friend and give her some flowers. As I pushed Gretel near the school, another mum said: 'What's up, let me have a look for you.'

Anyway the chain had come off, so she turned her upside down and fixed it in a jiffy. It was ace, I could have kissed her, and probably did.

I've been asked to write an article on my journey of cycling. Nice :)

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Urrrgh!! I'm just back from such a harrowing ordeal. Firstly I cycled to the bus stop, nearly having three accidents on the way, as the bus stop is only about 500 yards. That's pretty good or bad going!! I clearly wasn't myself, and headed off to Decathlon. I was so sweaty (for a fat lass) at the check out the assistant asked me if I was ok? and did I need a chair!! I looked at my 'weeping' cut and thought eeeeek!!

From there I headed off to Boots in the hope of finding some antibiotics, as I haven't a spleen, and things can turn nasty very quickly. I was directed to an out of hours place, which required a taxi. It was the start of the Muslim festival, and so there wasn't a taxi in sight.

To cut a long story short, I had 5 butterfly stitches, and was written up for some antibiotics, which I had to call and collect, before I was dropped off at Gretal. Why do I make things hard for myself?

Oh well I can feel the blood pumping round my body now:) (Even though some of it might be bad!!)
Yesterday just passed me by in a drunken haze. I've gotta say I was disappointed that no one said the words. 'Wow, you don't look 43!!' But I am happy to say a few people said 'I didn't ever act my age.' Which again is a brain thingy, because it was 1988 when I had my RTA, and severe brain damage. My brain still thinks it's 21, and I still like The Smiths, and The Clash.

A really nice day yesterday began with my children waking me, more excited about my birthday than me. I cycled to the shops later, because I had to give myself a bit of exercise, as I knew the day would be spent consuming lots of calories. My mates called at 4.00pm with champagne, and then another friend called and that was the start of the downhill slippery slope :) Clive then called (an ex fb), who is absolutelly gorgeous, and such a gent, he stayed till 1am.

I've said before how many things effect my ability to cycle- Well today I'm happy because I've had a wee laugh and a joke at my friend because he lay in bed this morning watching 'Hollyoaks' (Perv I called him!!). I'm just going into town, to spend fifty pounds worth of vouchers, at Decathlon.

Friday, 18 September 2009

I was a tomato this morning, as I cycled my little boy to school. I didn't have to go, but a taxi was picking me up at 10, for a meeting at the Head Injuries Rehabilitation Centre, where I am part of a group called BIRRP. Standing for? Brain Injured Rehabilitation Research Partnership, which meet at least once a month. I had wanted to feel awake for it, so I chose the school run as opposed to a slob at home with an extra coffee.

Too many folk probably read this blog now for me to write my true feelings down. But I was disappointed that the clinicians at the unit were not more into cycling as something I had chosen to do and a possibility for clients going through the rehab process now. I understand that our time at BIRRP is for a specific reason, and not really for me to be all egocentric. But I just feel a bit frustrated, I suppose I'm just wanting to enable folk, who might otherwise be sitting at home feeling totally incapacitated, and totally reliant on others. But I know again, I'm putting my own feelings onto others.

Also I'm 43 tomorrow!!! and because I've just split up with my fb, I ain't really got plans, I hope my neighbour pops in but otherwise it's another year of the kids and I.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Awww I love my life, it's only when I start to analyse stuff that I question bits of it. And get all reminiscent and maudlin. Today was no exception, I got my wee boy off to school, (my girl's away, with school). It was nice, no squabbles about who was going to sleep next to mum last night, as a special treat. I was deluded into thinking life with two children would be much easier. But I spend my entire home life being a referee, usually I'm the game and the prize!!!!!!!

Anyway, I'm gibbering on again. Today at Cycle For Health it was really successful, for many reasons, although I didn't actually say owt to folk about being a Health Champion, I definitely had the desired effect. It's like I said b4 in my blog, trikes make folk smile and chat. Heaven forbid, if I was shy?

A young woman asked me if she could work with me. And I loved it, that she had felt ok doing that , and people saw me as approachable.

I struggled with the uphills in Hillsborough Park, of which Steve had said there were none :) And felt a teensy bit awkward because I'd had to ask Fred, and Yvonne, no sorry Angela, for assistance - It's a joke, you had to be there, im afraid :)

I heard Fred, Amanda and David playfully arguing about who was supporting me. It was great, It was like 'I'm Spartacus,' no, but 'I am,' no, 'I am!'

Dave took lots of photos, which might appear on here later. (see above!)

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

I really find it encouraging that folk read my blog. And some actually follow it. I mean, I could never write that I'd sat on my ass all day eating cream cakes. And I can't lie (it's a brain injury thing!!) So it makes me do stuff, so thank you all.

Well, I did sit on my ass all morning, I had a lot of stuff to do. Mostly around trying to get funding to buy a new trike, as the one I'm using is only loaned. And I'm going to London Recumbents in October to look there. But the one I've seen there is about £2500 & another £2000 if I want a battery putting on for the difficult hills, of which there are many, in Sheffield. Dave of Pedal Ready and Steve of the CTC have helped me choose a suitable one. And Steve is actually taking me to London to have a go.

I've secured funding tomorrow to enable me to go and 'lead by example' as a 'Health Champion' on the Cycle for Health course.

(It was solemn at the school gates today, without my mate.)

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

So many things effect my cycling including my monthly cycle (for those who didn't grasp my 'decorators' reference). I'm a bit knackered today. After a busy day spent getting children off to school, tesco on the bus, my mums, a coffee out with a mate, I thought I've got to either go to bed or trike it somewhere.

I cycled to collect my children, and as I gasped up past the coop, an acquaintance, who I know to say hello, to said: 'Oooooh I watch you struggle everyday, I'm going your way, let me push ya'. And she did bless her. How nice, especially nice as she has her own probs, believe me. Folk are kind, arent they? I also heard that one of my main supporters at the school gates was admitted to hospital last night, and that's a bit shit. I can't help but look at the photos of her hugging me on the trike, and I just think I am very lucky :(

Awww, I'm really proud, when you walk in to my kitchen. The first thing you now see is three helmets on new hooks on the wall. It's cool, anyone night think we were fit or something...

Monday, 14 September 2009

Just came straight onto me blog today!

Didn't do the school run this morning, I don't do Mondays because the children sleep at their dad's on a Sunday. What complex and varied lives they seem to have.

Instead, a taxi came for me at 9.15, and whisked me off to a lunch meeting with a minister from the government, and some other folk with disabilities. I couldn't have been more effective if I'd worn a sandwich board. I have difficulty curbing my enthusiasm sometimes. I have so many things to talk about, I don't know where to start!! So sorry if I've jumbled a load of nonsense folks :)

The taxi got me home for 2.45, which is just the time I need to set off for school pick up. Now I was, still am, hot and sweaty. I've got tummy ache, 'I've got the decorators in' - It must have been yesterdays regrettable activity ;)

But with enthusiasm and determination, I rode Gretal to the school gates. And wow, how it's given me a new lease of life, I'm not tired any more!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

What an enormous git I feel, despite cycling a mile or so, with a ten year old perched on the back of Gretel.

It's always been kinda easiest and nicest that when my 'bush cutter' friend comes from Leeds, that we go to the local curry house for a meal. So after watching him delicately cut bushes today, we set off for our curry. Coming back was not good, with a belly full of curry and a couple of pints. (Am I a man bird?)

I was really touched by Dave taking some nice pics of me, to go on here. Sorry if you don't think they're good :) But hey, he did his best with the materials he'd got!!! :) (ie my face, but you know how a joke's never as funny when you've had to explain it?)

Friday, 11 September 2009

(Photo: Giving my scooter the thumbs down!)

I stayed in a lot today, to catch up with mundane stuff like getting grass stains out of school uniforms...any ideas?

I'm also sooo skint, that is another reason why I’m glad I’ve been taken on as a health champion, because I will get transport costs now paid for. And honestly that's such a relief, as I was pissing the bank (and folk) off. Because I needed not only taxis, but comfy trainers, a backpack and massage sessions. Speaking of money, I will be £1200 pa better off now after packing in my mobility scooter. all I do, moan?

I don't know why I do it, because I’m actually very happy, which I put down to the exercise I’m doing. And the positivity I know folk get from seeing me ride my trike. Do I look funny or summat? :D

I can't tricycle past a pedestrian without them making a jolly quirky comment. I don't think a shy person could ever ride a trike.

I cycled to the coop at lunchtime. And I thought, wow, it's warm. I then did the coop and school run just for the hell of it really, because I think it does my kids good to see a disabled person participating in stuff. And the gang of teenagers, who'd laughed at me a couple of weeks ago? They are like best buddies wi' me now.

I got home and Dave from Pedal Ready came around, to fix a wing mirror on Gretel :) My kids love meeting my cycling friends because they're all so positive.

BTW..... lovely Steve from CTC gave me a fab bike lock yesterday, how much easier than those bloody awful combination ones. But I 'stoved' the large sharp knife into my hand last night, whilst taking tags and stuff off.....ouch! I needed a couple of stitches I reckon. But I’ve just got nicer things to do with my life, than wait in hospitals.

Thank you to everybody whose commented on my blog. It's great hearing from folk.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

The day began with me opening my emails as normal, I had 3 which were wishing me luck for the day. And commenting on my blog, and how it amused them, which was good. And made me feel happy.

What a superb day, the sky was clear blue, not a cloud to be seen. But yet it wasn't scorching, because it's September....just perfect.

I arrived at the park at 10.30 am, tentatively stepped into the portakabin. At least I knew what to expect now. And I knew that non of the staff would have any expectations of me. Immediately I heard Steve (ctc), a welcoming loud voice. Then I saw my darling Fred (from Pedal Ready), so I immediately felt at ease. I was introduced to a few others, but I ain’t good with names, it’s a brain thingy.

Steve took Yvonne (my p.a.) and I over to check out the bikes. Steve got out the very heavy, (but looked fab) recumbent bike. This was the one, I’d come to look at really. I stepped into it, without difficulty, and was off....... Unfortunately it doesn’t have any gears, so it wouldn’t really help round Sheffield. But it did seem easier to control, and stop.

I tried out a couple of trikes that had no gears and were able to reverse. They were just so hard, I couldn't freewheel and because the pedals span around, they kept banging my ankles. Steve explained that they were popular with people who had Autism, because of the repetitive motion of constantly pedaling. (hard work!!)

The hand powered trike was a different ball game, it was horrid and possibly my least favourite. But I’m lucky enough to be able to say that, so I’m sorry if I sound like a smug git!

I set off and Steve shouts: “Don't go far, you won't be able to get back!!' Too late. “Help,” I shouted from the bottom of the hill I can't get back!!" He had to come and push me back, which was no mean feat!

A really interesting day, it opened my eyes to the difficulties others may have. And I actually felt quite lucky.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Fantastic day, I didn't cycle to school, but I really missed it. So I went to the shops instead at my own pace. (No gasmen today though!) I rode Gretel home and her chain came off. I nearly cried, I hadn’t got long before my taxi to the meeting that could see me being afforded the opportunity to help enable folk to experience the freedom of cycling. The last thing I wanted was to be covered in oil as well as sweaty from the ride, so I shouted some council men who were cutting the grass verges, (I do vaguely know them because they cut my grass for £10, and refreshments.) And bless em they fitted my chain back on, which was nice because I hadn't needed them to do the garden as I couldn't afford owt. I do love folk most of the time.

I'm going to Cycle for Health tomorrow at Hillsborough Park, hopefully I’ll recognise a couple of faces. I'm really excited about it, I can inspire folk and hopefully make em want to take up CFH, just by exercising, and being there. And I won't have to act all athletic and unflustered, I can just be true to my feelings.

I've got such butterflies in my tummy. And it's ace because it's not oe'r a man.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

I'm knackered, I must have a soak, to ease my aching bones/muscles. I couldn't face the school run this morning, I was still sore from yesterday. It's ok when I meet my kids, and we freewheel home, they think that's cool. But when we have to stop about four times going to school, because I'm sweating like a pig, and struggling to breathe, it ain't very attractive. So I skipped this morning's ride, and caught the bus.

Coincidence or not, I am in love with the world, and an acquaintance of mine got in touch out of the blue, I should have been angry, but because he'd missed me (haha) it boosted my confidence no end. And then my best mate said she'd been missing me, and wanted a coffee. So I'm feeling attractive at the mo.

2.30 - I know it's outrageous how early I set off in order to avoid arriving at the school gates all wheezy and red, not forgetting wet!! I pedalled up M. Lane, where as usual I struggled at the top. Three workmen, from some gas firm, saw me struggle. And instead of laughing at me, they got out the van, and pushed me to the top of the lane. I never thought my trike would have such a positive effect on folk!!

I arrived at the gates, and collared two folk and explained about the photo I wanted at school. Before I knew it there was about 10 folk, 20 kids, and a dog(!!), all crowding round to be in the photo. I felt gooooood!!

Monday, 7 September 2009

Today was strange, firstly my lil' boy came into my bed at 3 am, saying 'do I have to come and watch you have a heart attack in the morning mum?' Poor thing, had taken my word as oath when I said, 'it gave me a heart attack, I was so unfit.'

But once we'd got that issue cleared up, (bless him) and my 10 year old spent way too long doing her hair etc, we all ended up going about 100 yards apart, not at all dream like. But hey I made it with my mate Julie, saying that I didn't look like a tomato.

I hope my pc doesn't let me down now, because I'm all emotional, and I need to seize the moment. I strained and struggled to school this am, it was so difficult. My kids disowned me, and gone was the fantasy that I'd somehow glide to school, instead I grunted.

I got home and realised I needed to go to the shops and the chemist. I couldn't face steep M. Lane, plus home, plus back to school to fetch the kids. Even though they had both forbidden me to go on 'Gretel'. I hate to go against my kids wishes, but I just thought 'who's the adult?' 'fcku em' So at 2.15, I did all the shops and chemist, and went to the school gates!! I sweated like a fat pig but hey, I'd done it!! Because there was a crowd round Gretel, my kids wanted in on the action and were very proud. So I'm pleased with my decision.

Things are looking good, on the Wheels for All front, and the Cycle for Health, I've got a meeting on Weds, and Steve's taking me to 'London Recumbents' in October, so I'm happy.

(Fab reception when I went to school at three. I'm so glad I didn't put it off anymore.)

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Life's good. I borrowed my wee boy's lock, and nipped to the shops, it really is very hard for me to pedal up M. Lane, in fact I had to walk it a few yards today. And I can't ever imagine it getting easier, I suppose I'm hoping that however it happens, when I replace my mobility scooter, and Gretel, the new trike will magically make it ok?

I've seen some fab, motor assisted recumbent bikes today. They are incredibly expensive though.

I think my once 'big friend' (who lost 11 stone from cycling for a year) was right when he said that all insecure folk laughed at new things. Because as I rode to the shops, I saw the usual gang of teenagers who'd scoffed at the beginning of the week say 'alright mate' as I locked up. Which I took as a kind of acceptance. I know I'm a sad git putting so much importance on that. But it felt good.

I'm trying my best to get my mate Julie into cycling, because she cannot ride a two wheeler. I don't think she's got the bollocks to do it though. I'd love it if she proved me wrong.

Hey it's been 10 days, since I had to use my mobility scooter. But I suppose tomorrow, and the normality of school runs, when in a hurry, will be the true test. I'll see it as a failing if I need to resort to my scooter again.

I'm hoping to go about 8.15, but whether my 2 children will join me, I just don't know? They are young and are a bit embarrassed I think about what folk will say? They love introducing their mates to Gretel, but can't handle ridicule too well. (A bit like their mum!!!)

Saturday, 5 September 2009

I'm all a bit tearful today, probably because I don't usually have a lot of time to be self indulgent and think about my own personal achievements, and wants. I'm child free for a change, which has given me the luxury of some self analysis. Which always leads to me being emotional.

Physically I only cycled to 'M. Avenue', which in terms of difficulty, I would say it was on a par with T. Rise. It is very steep.

I have met so many lovely folk through cycling. Steve introduced me to 'Cycle for Health' , who again were beautiful folk. Not just because they were getting paid for it either. Because all too often, they offered their service out of love for cycling and for people.

And I had previously thought my life to be full, and fairly excitable. But I've found room to deal with the various lil' projects, I'm going to become involved in.

I ain't used my mobility scooter for 9 days now, and it feels fantastic!!

Friday, 4 September 2009

I woke at 3.00 am, and couldn't get back to sleep, I was too excited. It just reminded me of that night three months ago, when I lay awake wondering if I'd be able to even cycle. And how I hadn't wanted to let Steve down, from the CTC, because he seemed to have so much faith, whilst I doubted.

But today was different, not only was there Steve and his kids, there were the the great folk I'd met from Pedal Ready, who'd pulled out all the stops when 'Gretel' needed repairing. Everyone was right behind me on my latest venture which, not only would satisfy my need to be liked/needed, but would keep me sooooo very into cycling, and hey I could prove to elitist cyclists that you don't need to be athletic, and fit to be passionate about cycling.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

I'm just back from my school run, for the 7th day in a row. In fact I've not used my mobility scooter for 7 days!! (I just might have an influence on somebody else being able to say that one day.)