Sunday, 23 September 2012
The question we have been asked most often in the few weeks since the flame trip is "so, what next?"
The truthful answer is that we dont know, it could be anything, everything or just something. The majority of what's next is the day-to-day, the ordinary, and in some respects the mundane. The kids were back to school the week after and were back into it - and on the Friday we walked to school as we had done in the last few weeks before school term ended.
Unfortunately, the weather on the first week back can only be described as "damp". This is actually quite difficult for Evan as it effects his control - the rubber stoppers on the end of his crutches can slip on the wet ground. This definitely impacts his confidence which is key to a good walk. So we ended up doing the last bit "one-handed" but it was a good start. it may be that the bad weather means that we wont be able to do this easily each week.
The week after, we decided to add another plate to those already spinning and, taking advantage of Grandma Skipton being able to take Maya and Sam to school, we added another walk to school to the regime. This time we went for one-handed all the way - which is easier for Evan but we try to be very loose handed so that he has to be in control. He did really well and managed it in about half-an-hour. He now has a series of record times and categories for "getting there", "all the way with crutches" and "one-handed".
On the whole the walks to school are hard work but a good experience, however on the friday walk to school a couple of days later it wasn't such a good one. To be honest, he was too tired and moaned, groaned and grumbled all the way. It was wet that day as well and was a pretty miserable start to the end of the week. Strangely though, when we got to school Ev turned to me and said, "it wasn't very good that, was it Dad!?" - the fact that he knew this kind of made it a little better. It takes a little extra planning to be able to do this, we have to take advantage of good friends who take Maya and Sam to
school - and probably have enough on in a morning - and we are very lucky that we have these good friends.
The other type of what's next is more like "what's new?" - such as the walking one-handed on a wednesday. Evan also went to his first Wheelchair racing club last week. Inspired mainly by Hannah Cockcroft and our experience in London we have managed to find a club in Leeds which ties in with everything else going on. The chair they had available was a little too big but he could wheel himself up and down the fast lane. The grin as he reduced his "pb" from 100 to 95 to 84 and then 83 seconds
(for 100 metres) proved that perhaps he has a little of what he needs and perhaps he is on the first steps to "Wherever 2020" (I have already googled where it might be....) but even if he doesnt make it, as long as he enjoys it and he finds some new friends it will still be well worth it.
The final aspect of what's next is what can only be described as "Celebrity stuff". It's weird saying that but like it or not, Evan has achieved a level of local celebrity - as evidenced at wheelchair racing, where someone said "ooh it's the lad of the telly" (which was brill) and someone yesterday remarking to Loup, "I didnt realise you were Evan's Mum." Celebrity doesn't need to be a term reserved for talentless attention seekers - Celebrity comes in many forms.
In fact, such "status" this led to an invitation to be part of the Relay for Life
It's an event which celebrates fundraising for Cancer research and Karen Weaving who is Chair of the organising committee helped us during our fundraising. We were a little unsure of how Ev's particular story fitted in with this great cause but it soon became clearer. Part of the event was to celebrate the survivors and, of course, to remember those who weren't so fortunate. You dont need to delve far into the lives of those around you to find that this is something which can have a devastating impact. As we found those around us both humbling and inspiring, it didnt seem so out of place for Evan to help show how you can achieve something if you have the right spirit and also support. The event was then opened by Lord Crathorne, Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire - who himself recalled his wife losing her battle with the disease a couple of years earlier.
The best way to describe the event itself was a feel-good, 24hour, non-stop, sponsored walk and as we headed off I'm pretty sure that Loup was planning participation for next years event.
Watch out Yummy Mummies!.