cardio · fitness · habits · holiday fitness · meditation · mindfulness · motivation · wheelchairs

Making Space: Day 4

Welcome to Day 4!

I hope you have found some space for yourself over the past few days, whether or not you have included movement or meditation.

Always remember that you are doing the best that you can with the resources that you have. Some days will be easier, some will be harder, but you don’t have to blame yourself for the hard ones.

Being hard on yourself doesn’t make you more focused or more disciplined, it just makes you feel bad. No one needs more reasons to feel bad.

Please try to be kind to yourself and to notice your efforts, no matter how things turn out in a given day.

Here’s your gold star for your hard work: ⭐️

And here are your videos for today.

I really enjoyed this workout from Ella Beaumont. The video is 15 minutes long but the workout itself is only 10. That’s because she demonstrates the 5 exercises at the beginning and gives you a one minute rest in the middle. I liked the format and I like how she is upbeat without being overwhelmingly cheery. *

A cardio exercise video from Ella Beaumont’s YouTube channel. The still image shows Ella wearing black workout clothes, sitting in her wheelchair, holding a broom aloft. There is a couch with brightly coloured cushions behind her.

This meditation video was quite calming and I particularly liked the bubbly image that you could watch throughout.

A meditation video from the Mindful Peace YouTube channel. Still image shows the logo from the channel (a person in seated meditation enclosed in a circle) and the words Mental Reset in white. The background appears to be an underwater view of sunshine with bubbles rising on all sides.

Whether you do with either of these or just take a few minutes to observe what’s outside your window, I hope you find some space for yourself today.

*I get *why* a lot of instructors have a constant stream of encouragement chatter but it is often distracting for me. Ella was encouraging without being in-your-face about it.

accessibility · body image · disability · normative bodies · SamanthaWalsh · standing · wheelchairs

Samantha stands and has complicated feelings about it (Guest post)

By Samantha Walsh

On the weekend I went to @abilities_expo for work. It’s a trade show of disability related services and products. A company called wheelchair88 was showing a standing wheelchair. It was a manual wheelchair you could lock then move the wheelchair into a standing position. You can’t move once you are standing.

Thoughts on standing straight from someone who has never stood straight…

I forget how old I was when I stopped thinking I would be more beautiful if I was standing. I know I was older than 20, but younger than 25.

I forget how old I was when I stopped thinking I would be more powerful if I could meet someone’s eye. It was older than 25, but younger than 33.

I know as a child if asked to draw a picture of myself, I would draw a standing person. I did this till I was 6 or 7. After that I often drew people using wheelchairs, but would still draw myself standing.

I know by grade 4 I started drawing pictures of me using a wheelchair, because I started playing wheelchair basketball and often drew about that for school.

When I was young I had lots of surgery and different interventions so I could stand and walk. It’s interesting that the mark of success for doctors and therapists was always that I could hobble or shuffle. Standing would be an all encompassing lactic acid filled experience.

I am often surprised it is still the gold standard. Facebook and YouTube videos depicting folks with disabilities who vowed to walk to get diplomas; walk down isles; stand for first dances. I have adult friends whose parents refused them wheelchairs. In turn they have internalized that standing, walking, shuffling is best.

A wheelchair to me offers liberty and a stable fast painless way to move. Even with all this I was seduced by the opportunity to stand straight. I picked an outfit I was curious about seeing standing. I compelled a coworker to take pictures.

Standing felt unnatural. My head was too high. My legs don’t go straight the brace had to force them. My spine curves from sitting so it hurt. To me the social significance of standing comes from a culture that privileges a specific kind of body. I feel grateful I no longer understand my own posture as inferior.

Today was interesting…

Samantha Walsh is a Doctoral Candidate in Sociology. She also works in the Not-For-Profit Sector.

You can read all of Samantha’s posts here.