Sunday, March 29, 2009

Gettin' around...

As you can see from the previous post, I enjoyed my first (teensy) riding experience today: a few laps around our apartment block's carpark. Heaven! Dwayne came for a little ride but quickly decided he preferred to walk. Bertie watched and took photos - I felt like a big silly kid with my streamers and bell and little tiny laps around and around, but that's a happy big silly kid right there. A great day for me :D

I found I could use my prosthesis while riding - a few times I stalled and couldn't seem to use the leg to push the pedal down, but the more laps I did the less this happened. We'll see what happens when I get out and about a little more...

Speaking of getting out and about, Bertie and I had a super duper busy week, particularly the weekend part of it that we just got back from: a friend's place for morning tea (she served up some very yummy homemade banana bread, and homemade hummus, both of which I need the recipe for!) then down to Phillip Island for a night of fun birthday shenanigans with a friend (where we celebrated Earth Hour, which I'll blog more about soon), and finally a triple-birthday BBQ in Moe today. We've only just got back to Melbourne!

Obviously I couldn't ride my tricycle from Melbourne to Phillip Island to Moe and back again, so Bertie and I took the car...

Those who know me well know that I have been on my learner license for a LONG time (lots of reasons - extreme nervousness in cars & regular car crash nightmares don't help the situation) but Bertie has been trying to help remedy this. We've occasionally had some lessons, but because of my reluctance they were always too spaced apart. Bertie even bought me some RACV driving lessons for Christmas that I'm yet to use.

Anyway, this weekend there was obviously a lot of driving to be done, and the wonderous, wonderful Bertie convinced me to drive from Elwood to the corner of Springvale and Wellington rd. It was a nervous and stressful half hour, but we both survived. I didn't want to get on the freeway, so Bertie drove the rest of the way to Phillip Island. Then I surprised myself by agreeing to drive from Phillip Island to Moe today. The entire two hour drive. I started out stressed and panicky, but by the end of the two hours I felt a new confidence in myself and in my driving. There were still certain situations - like the first drive on a freeway - which freaked me out, but I learnt, finally, not to panic and lose my cool in these sorts of situations! I even confronted my fear of driving through tunnels and over bridges (though my hands tended to hurt afterwards from gripping the steering wheel so hard, haha).

Despite being exhausted by the day in Moe, I even suggested I drive us back to Melbourne. I did, and the feeling I experienced as I pulled into our carpark at home was one of deep happiness. I feel I have conquered a big hurdle: the massive nervousness. I even started to enjoy myself on the drive home. Now I just need to improve my technique and put in the practice to get my hours up. Next step - now that Bertie is going back to work interstate - is to get those RACV lessons happening soon so I don't lose that confidence.

I hope soon to be able to walk and run on my new leg (coming soon), ride around on my shiny new tricycle, and drive around in Bertie's car when I have to. Welcome to 2009, the year of Jess' multiple transportation initiations :)

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