My hair whipped around me wildly today, sticking to my lips and harrassing my face, as I struggled to see clearly enough to get from the car to the entrance of the YMCA. En route, an older woman in a jogging suit, leaning heavily on a walker, passed me and cheerfully exclaimed, "Isn't that wind exhilarating!" Now that you mention it, it does take my breath away, makes my skin tingle, and smells like spring. Exhilarating? why yes, in fact it is! Thanks for the perspective check.
While drying my hair after a good swim, another woman asked me if I had Spina Bifida; I reminded her of her neice who has SB and is very strong and athletic, "strong as a horse," she said... anyone who knows me and also has a friend with SB out there may wonder at this point what it is about me that reminded her of her niece. Is it the undeveloped legs, or the massive chest and arm muscles?? Actually, probably the short torso... I come from a family of women with little feet and short torsos. But she seemed very nice and sincere enough, if not very persceptive, so I smiled and let her talk, as I imagined her niece might have blonde hair... that and the wheelchair seem to be the memory triggers for many people.
On my way out of the YMCA and into my car, a big muscular bald man came up to my car door and told me that he was an army man and how much he admired me... in exhilarating army-man terms. I tell ya, swearing doesn't seem quite so offensive when it's used as a compliment! I think he must have been referring to my apparent dedication to health and strength, or my intrepidly brave outlook on life... I get that a lot at the Y. Apparently there is something inspiring to others about a kid in a wheelchair working out in public. I just do it so my feet can get some circulation and my waistline won't get too flabby. But hey, if it inspires someone, that's good too.
After he waved good-bye and the door closed, I thought I should have called after him, "And isn't that wind exhilarating?!"