Who would have thought that me, of all people, would be writing a post about ICE SKATING?! But hey... it's 2018 and not even a set of wheels could stop me from enjoying this activity.
I've been skating several times in the past, but nothing compares to today's session. For the first time ever, I was allowed to independently control my electric wheelchair on the ice. This may sound trivial to some, but the message behind this post is so important.
In all of my previous experiences on ice, disabled customers have always been made to use a manual wheelchair. Most venues, including The Eden Project's very own website, refuse electric wheelchairs "due to the weight of the chair and the subsequent difficulty of slowing them down." I personally find this policy hard to understand. As somebody who spends 24/7 in their chair, I'm 99% sure I have better control over myself than somebody stood on skates. Most venues also don't seem to consider the difficulty in transferring between chairs and the obvious comfort barrier.
However, today was a different story and I can't stress how AMAZING it felt to have the independence and control over myself.
Despite being sat down, I also like to wear the skates in order to feel the sensation. On arrival, the lady behind the desk already questioned why I needed the boots. Straight away I was thinking: "ok, heeeere we go!" She then proceeded to get a manual chair from the store room.
Testing the limits as always, I noticed the rink seemed unusually quiet today. So i turned on my charm (haha) and asked if I could remain in my electric chair. To my surprise... she said YES!
Honestly, I was chuffed and it made the whole experience 10x better. Something so simple as being able to steer myself and not rely on somebody else meant so much to me.
Independence is key.... and dragging other people around for a change is also very fun!
Moral of the story guys - if you don't ask, you don't get!
If anybody from The Eden Project is reading this, then THANK YOU. Chances are this was just a one-off, but please consider this in your policy for the future - I can't tell you how much of a difference it makes. Because of this, I am giving you a 5★ review.