The door open you roll down the ramp at speed, front wheels clattering as you go. Most times you get up a good amount of speed. You reach the bottom and start pushing wishing that you could keep the speed that you gained, but knowing that there is no way that you can.
Moving at a reasonable speed for you ( but slow by walking standards ), arms pumping as you roll along the path. Most of the time you roll down the curb as needed without much thought. But occasionally just as you hit the curb you are seized by a feeling that the drop is huge. In your head you know that’s nonsense. But if you stop yourself you know that going down that curb is going to be hard. So you try and keep going no matter what you feel.
As you are moving along some people smile and say Hi, others pretend they can’t see you. A small number just stare.
All major curbs for this trip dealt with. Now you strike small hills. Your pace slows, but you keep moving. Now on to the bigger hill. Here things like momentum matter and you lean as far forward as you can. Now you really start to notice that your right hand is really a claw, and so much weaker than your left. Sweat starts, on a bad day it can be a lot.
At any point in the journey people can ask if you need a hand. A genuine offer can make you feel like there is good in the world. Unless you are truly stuck you thank them for asking and politely decline the help. The good ones will move off with a smile and continue their day. Others will get a slightly confused look on their face, but still go about their day. Some just can’t seem to believe that you don’t want help. So they triple check that you are saying No. On a good day this doesn’t bother you much. But on a bad day it can make you see red. But the ones that always upset you are the ones who either start trying to help you without asking if you want help, or that ask but then ignore your answer and try to help anyway.
I will never understand the people who get upset when I decline their help. I always thank them for asking and try to put things positively. But some people seem to feel that I am deliberately slighting or rejecting them and get angry, coming out with some rather nasty comments. To these people all I can say is that its nothing to do with you honestly, but rather me wanting to achieve something myself.
I know that at some points on the hard hills ( or not ) I look ridiculous, and on a bad day I can wonder why I bother. But most days it gives me something inside to be able to say that Today I made it. And if there are enough days where I make it, then for a little while things might get easier. Also remember that someday somewhere I will find a hill that I must climb where there is no-one to help me.
One day in the future I know that it is likely I will not be able to get up the hard hills anymore. But I hope and pray that I am doing all I can to make that day as far away as possible.