What started out as a year full of promise for my public speaking journey, having already delivered 7 talks before the pandemic struck, with many more talks in the pipeline.
I also had (The will to succeed) public speaking conference, where all the speakers including myself had a disability of some description.
It’s turned out to be quite a lame effort where public speaking’s concerned….
That said, I have now started to deliver a few online talks, the most recent of those being Greenwich University and Worcester University, each receiving glowing feedback.
If COVID-19 has done anything, it has helped me to understand and appreciate that being disabled and, being a wheelchair user doesn’t automatically end your life.
Former footballing ace Charlie Fogarti lives by the saying (Everything is possible).
The only caveat that I’d like to add to that statement is, “with a lot of hard work and determination, anything is possible”.
How true is following statement though….?
“A disability only effects / ruins your life if you let it”……
On the 5th August 2009 my life as it was ended, paving the way for a new life to begin.
I almost became a recluse, I wouldn’t go anywhere or do anything for fear of being seen out and about in my wheelchair by somebody that I knew.
The embarrassment was just too much to handle…
In the spring of the year 2017 I must have had a wake-up call.
I could continue wallowing in self-pity or, I could choose to do something about it. Which, of course I chose the latter.
I’m now a little over 11 years post-accident and, I’m public speaking to the masses, inspiring and motivating literally hundreds of people to be the very best version of themselves.
Well, I was before COVID-19 rocked the world…
Early last year I also returned to cycling on my recumbent trike, only being able to cycle 6 – 11 miles round local parks. (Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham and, Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield).
I’m now regularly cycling 70 – 80 miles in just one day.
Why I should be surprised by this given my cycling heritage, god only knows.
I’ve / we’ve, we’ve being Ian and I have now cycled 2 Coast to Coast challenges, with a 3rd planned for December, 137 miles from Whitehaven to Newcastle Upon-Tyne.
In July 2021, Ian and I will be taking on the LEJOG, 937 miles from Lands-end to John ‘O’ Groats.
- Are me mad? Probably.
- Is it achievable? Most definitely.
Therefore, being disabled and being a wheelchair user hasn’t really stopped me from doing the things that I love and enjoy the most.
If anything it’s given me a rather exciting opportunity, an opportunity that I wouldn’t of had, had my accident not of happened.
I’m in talks with a gentleman called Paul Hallinan who represents a company called Adapt-e a reseller for recumbent trikes based in Warrington. Paul asked me to write an article to support a project the he’s working on called (Just like me) promoting the value of recumbent trikes to medical professionals.
This is something that I’ve done…
I’ve also been asked by Kate Allatt to support her in a public speaking engagement to inspire and educate the medical community, below is what she said: –
Can I ask something….?
I’m thinking of hosting a tweetchat/zoom in January on all our stroke rehabilitation challenges and post stroke achievements as a way of inspiring and educating the medical community…
would you be interested in joining me?
As you’ve seen I’ve finally accepted that (this is me), it’s only taken me eleven years. Lol
Look at me though, (The man that speaks, a public speaking triker).
I had an inspirational story before but, my new story, my latest presentation is mind blowing.
I can’t explain how good it makes me feel to have been able to create my new normal.