Taking advantage of a few days in the sun by the sea, Blog Senior and I have been trying out a wheelchair.
It's a whole new experience, because pushing a baby or toddler, even two in a double buggy as I used to, is nothing compared to a full-grown adult.
Pushing a wheelchair around on anything other than the flattest promenade, is like spending a day on a stepmaster. Even the slightest upward slope demands full body effort, and a downward slope is a matter of peril. Every pavement has a strong sideward camber, and even a lowered kerb presents a ridge that low-speed wheels struggle to mount.
7 things I now know about pushing a wheelchair.
- You build up shoulders and get bruised ankles.
- You sleep like a log
- You get a great tan (the rays bounce off the steel)
- You work off all the calories in 5 meals-a-day
- You can hit yourself in the face while swinging the heavy metal chair into the car
- That having your passenger get out to walk the difficult bits makes you look like a complete fraud
- Wheelchair pushers are invisible: you never notice how many there are until you become one.
Writing this reminds me that I have met a well-known wheelchair bound petchem trader on a number of occasions. His name is Andrew, and whenever I met him at ICIS methanol lunches, he was always the centre of attention, particularly female attention. I can't remember for the life of me who his invisible colleague was who used to push him around.