It looks nice, but I hate the snow
I Hate the Snow. For me as a wheelchair user, negotiating snow can be a tough challenge.
The snow looks nice but I hate it.
The road is quiet, the sky is bright blue, and the air feels fresh when inhaled deeply. Lots of people walk past. Crossing in and out of the road, to and from the snow-packed path, when the infrequent cars travel towards them. Maybe travelling too fast for the conditions?
Putting my skills to the challenge
For me, as a wheelchair user, negotiating snow can be a tough challenge. It can be difficult just being able to get to my driver’s car door, which is parked close to my house. Not forgetting when I have transferred into the car, then breaking down and stowing my wheelchair, the snow which has impacted itself to my wheelchair wheels decides to fall off onto me. The snow that does not fall on me, makes puddles below where the wheels are stored.
Going for my regular fitness push after a snow flurry has covered the ground is not worth attempting. It is possible, but the extra risk of a mistake happening increases the chance of taking a tumble out of my wheelchair. Ending up laying in the wet. When I was younger, the snow didn’t seem like much of a problem. My desperate need to get out outweighed the risk of falling. I don’t remember the cold chilling my hands being a problem, either. Good balance and control of my wheelchair helped me get to my final destination, usually the pub. But now, as a responsible adult, a husband and a father, I tend not to risk going out in this weather unless it is essential.
I feel guilty
I feel guilty I cannot take my son sledging. Living in a village in the Chiltern Hills, with steep slopes on its edges that fall into valley’s that are home to meandering rivers. One river being particularly famous, Old Father Thames. Ancient woodland, fields and a well-kept golf course cover the edges from the high ground. The 18 hole course tumbles down to the sweeping valley of the River Wye. This river used to support many mills that offered employment to the communities. Growing up here, I remember the tall chimneys sometimes with the tops in clouds.
I explored the golf course every season in my youth. I remember, on long summer evenings, investigating the footpaths that crisscross the fairways. Climbing trees in competitions with friends to see who was brave enough to get the highest. Snowy wintery weekends were spent sledging. Speeding down the steep slopes from golf tees or greens and stopping quickly before the rough. Due to the nights drawing in early as the time of year permits, and the school never closing, sledging could only take place at weekends. Rain, wind, snow, hail, storms, ill with a cold or a fever, you went to school. You had to be nearly dead to get one day off!
I think the snow which fell at the weekend would have probably closed the school facility. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 and homeschooling, there is a risk of the day finishing at our discretion, so we would be able to spend some time on the white slopes of the 18th hole fairway. I know people are doing exactly that right now. I saw them trudging past, parents dragging school classmates on thin shaped plastic. You can hear the cries of joy from our back garden. Pictures posted on Social Media for all to see, showing numerous people speeding down slopes, dragging sledges back up, standing around talking are proof – I hope they’re not letting slip the social distancing guidelines?
I’m going to mention how downhearted I feel, not being able to take my son on this fun adventure on the crisp white slopes with fresh powder. Several factors reassure me that it’s probably better if we are not there. I don’t want him to miss out on his schooling and, the amount of people taking part in ruining the well-kept lawns seems a bit of a concern to me.
Best stay at home I think, warm and dry, do what Boris says….. Do it for the country!
Each wheelchair training session offered by Freedom Wheelchair Skills is bespoke for every individual. I conduct an assessment call with a client before training occurs. Needs, goals and abilities are discussed and a training session is tailored for them using this information.