“AN EXPERIENCE I’LL NEVER FORGET”
I had been offered the chance to go along to the Monday Rugby group, to see how I felt about maybe going a little more often. Please keep in mind that I paint a vivid picture – I am a 53 year old large (note I refrained from the word fat) female, a wheelchair user for approx nine years who has not socialised for at least seven years since arriving in Kidderminster. Many other mental and physical health issues are thrown in and I agreed to go firstly on a minibus full of strangers (alarm bells); secondly, to play any form of sport let alone rugby on a pitch with again, strangers, who were mostly able to walk (alarm bells are now ringing off the walls), and thirdly with a Cllr Susie Griffiths who I met three weeks ago and my alarm bells are on fire the lights are flashing, but I remained calm on the outside.
So that’s me, now this is how the whole experience impacted on me…
I have an intense dislike to my new life and title of disabled, yet I crown myself with it more than anyone, after spending ten minutes in the company of this group of amazing people I felt able, not disabled and I became Kim. The wheelchair didn’t matter because someone would always run and push me to where I needed to be. I caught and dropped the ball, nobody cared, there was laughter and OMG some of those lads could run!
The friendliness and chatter and everything about the group made me for that few hours whole again. I instantly felt part of society, “see you next week, Kim”, “you coming Saturday?”, “nice to have met you”, hugs and handshaking. Simon Northcott said I would have to get involved and he meant it – no one sits on the sidelines which is funny, as carers have to join in as well. I cannot fit everything in that I want to say, but I cannot express the feeling of being part of something again how it made the last seven years of solitude disappear, being treated as Kim not an older female in a wheelchair with the tag disabled was amazing and I came home happy and tired.
Thank you, everyone, for an experience I will never forget.