Thursday, August 6, 2009

Facing Fears

"How can you stand in front of all those people at your workshop and ask them to face their fears if you haven't faced your own?"

I've got a lot to post from my trip to Washington, D.C. but first I need to back up and talk about what happened before the trip. We've talked some about the stigma of scooter use, and for me personally, my biggest hurdle was the thought of using it at work. I work on a campus with a 4-story building, and another building attached by a breezeway. The thinking side of me knows that my scooter use is protected under the same ADA regulations that wheelchair users have, but in the 12 years I've worked here I've never seen another employee using wheels of any sort (scoot or wheelchair).

Over the last few years I've been limiting my walking at work to the bathroom and other "have to go" places. Seeing how much my scoot has enhanced the rest of my life (and spared me a lot of painful walking), I knew it would do the same thing at work, but I wasn't ready to face it. Until, that is, Rhonda asked me how I could give my workshop at the NAAFA Convention and ask others to face their fears about scooter use when I hadn't faced my own.

The Monday before my vacation started I went for some lab work before work. I used my scoot for the first time at the lab, and it made everything so much less stressful. I wasn't worried about finding a parking place, or an armless chair in the waiting area, or about fitting into the chair where they draw blood. I just stayed on my scoot. When I finished there I loaded my scoot in my car and found a quiet spot where I could stop and think. Rhonda was right, and I knew it. In a moment of reckoning, I knew there was no day like today to face my fears.

So I did it.

I drove back to my office and unloaded my scoot, hoping no one would see and I could just sneak into my office. Ha! A coworker met me at the door of the building, and another one joined us in the hall, then another and another and another. EVERY reaction was positive. I spent a good part of the rest of the day talking with coworkers about my TravelScoot. I'm really glad I faced my fears, not just so I could stand at my workshop and ask others to face their fears, but because I have a coworker with heart trouble and she's having an increasing difficult time walking distances. She'd never seen anything like the TravelScoot before, and suddenly she had found something she didn't even know she was looking for.

Your fears may be different than mine. You might never have ridden a scooter at all and are afraid to even try one at Walmart. Or maybe you need one and you're afraid of what your family will say. Perhaps you've been staying home when you could be out enjoying yourself, doing your own grocery shopping, or going to work instead of staying home on a bad walking day.

Whatever your fear is, please know that you're not alone, and facing your fear ultimately leads to enhancing your life. There is such freedom in being able to move quickly from place to place without pain, or without triggering an asthma attack, or in saving your strength not for the distance, but for the activity you've set off to accomplish and enjoy.


  1. I couldn't have said that last part better, BRAVO!

  2. Yes! Thanks for your insight, inspiration and sincerity!