What Is A Wheelchair?

What is a wheelchair? I know that’s a silly question to ask, but it’s an important question to ask and give a legitimate answer to. I spent some time looking up the definition of a wheelchair and I saw few definitions that didn’t give me the answer I was looking for but then I came across the Oxford dictionary online and gave me an answer I could work with.

According to the Oxford dictionary a wheelchair is “a chair fitted with wheels for use as a means of transport by a person who is unable to walk as a result of illness, injury or disability.” Okay, so that’s the dictionary version of what a wheelchair is but I would like to add-on to that definition because I feel that’s just a basic, straight to the point definition. But I don’t feel and I know many others who use wheelchairs don’t feel that way either.

I want to define what a wheelchair is to me; I can’t speak for anyone else in a wheelchair because our experiences are completely different from each other so I can only speak on how I define it.

To me my wheelchair is an extension of myself as a person. I use it to get around Chicago whether riding through the various neighborhoods of the city or using it on public transportation. It helps me to go places around the city that would’ve been impossible for me if I didn’t have it.

My wheelchair is the first thing people see when they meet me for the first time and it’s understandable. What I don’t like are people who pretend they don’t see my chair. You know the ones I’m talking about, “oh when I met you I didn’t see your wheelchair, I only see you as a person.” That’s bullshit! People can clearly see I’m in a wheelchair.

My wheelchair has given me a chance to do things in my life I never thought were possible. If it wasn’t for my chair I wouldn’t be a film director and that means The Wheelchair Chronicles would not exist today. If it wasn’t for my wheelchair I wouldn’t have met all the great people who have made an impact on my life and I wouldn’t have developed relationships with these people.

I’ve been in a wheelchair for 12 years now and I’ve finally gotten to understand more about myself sexually and as a man. I’m 31 and I’m comfortable with being in a wheelchair. Now I do want to eventually want to walk again but as of right now I’m in my chair and it will continue to be an extension of what I can do and who I am as a person.

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Looking Up At The Sky

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Over the weekend I was talking to a friend of mine and she asked me an interesting question. “What’s the first thing you do when you come outside?” I told her that when I go outside, the first thing I do is look up at the sky.

Why is that the first thing I do? Well I spend most of my time indoors and while I’m indoors I feel closed in, like I’m suffocating. I feel that I have no space to be free and move around the way I want to. When I’m in my house I have to navigate through tight spaces just to get around and is frustrating (at times).

When I roll outside for the first time I pause and I look up at the sky no matter if it’s sunny or dark and gloomy. I take that pause for a few seconds to take in my surrounds, to get fresh air in my lungs and prepare myself for whatever comes my way.

Let me tell you, when I step outside I feel liberated, I feel like I’m free. Being able to go outside means that I can have fun and be adventurous and experience life. That’s one of the reasons why I put together The Wheelchair Chronicles so that the world can see what I see when I ride outside. I want people to see the total freedom I have when I’m riding in my wheelchair. I want people to see the joy I have being able to ride around the streets of Chicago.

When I look to the sky, I’m grateful that I get to see another day and to get a chance to do something new. When I look to the sky it gives me hope.