To follow up on my last entry, after getting the antibiotics my UTI cleared up within a few days as expected. The headaches stopped, the spasms stopped, fatigue dissipated as much as possible in my current situation, and I geared myself up for a busy weekend.
That Thursday, my friend Sean and I headed out to a metal show at Tremont music hall. I listen to absolutely all types of music but I’m not ashamed to say that hard-core metal tends to be my most favorite. I’m not exactly sure why because it’s not the most uplifting music one can listen to. I mean, when someone is screaming aggressively into a microphone it’s probably pretty hard to convey the positive side of things. I think the reason I like it is simply the amount of emotion which is expressed and all of the energy that comes along with it. I love the moments when you can barely keep up with the erratic rhythms of the drums and then with a crash of the symbol a powerful breakdown occurs. Two or three simplistic but powerful chords erupt from the amplifiers as the entire crowd is engulfed within the climax of the song. New Age hard-core dancers bust a move which includes an array of kicks and flying fists. I remember the good old days of punk rock when we all just ran around and shoved each other but now you have to have style in the pit.
A couple days later Saturday arrived which was the day the Adaptive Sports Expo was to be held. I was to play both rugby and power soccer during the event and my friends Tyler, Sean, and Mike were coming in town to see my skills. I was so glad to get a good night’s sleep the night before and I awoke in the morning fresh and ready to go. I became a bit stressed in the morning as I waited for my friends to arrive before heading out to the Bobcats arena but everything fell into place perfectly and I made it into the arena just in time to hop in the rugby chair, tape up my hands and wheel out onto the floor to be greeted by the bright lights and thousands of fans cheering us on. Well, maybe it was more like 85 fans but I did a good job of imagining.
To be honest it was rather frustrating for me not getting the turnout that we had all hoped for. Unfortunately there were certain circumstances presented from certain organizations that prevented us from getting a good turnout. In short, the Bobcats organization did not make it very easy for us in my opinion, to get a good number of people to show up for the expo. The deal was if we sold a certain number of tickets to the Bobcats game that night than we would be given the floor time and for each ticket sold five dollars would be donated to ASAP and would include admission to the expo. So as we were first selling tickets it was impossible to fully promote the expo because none of us were even sure if the expo would be held. Luckily we were able to meet the deadline and sell enough tickets but even after that there were a great many people who would have liked to go to the expo but didn’t really feel like forking out the money for a bobcats ticket. Then the day of the expo arrived and they weren’t even checking tickets! We could have invited absolutely everyone and told them it was free! Basically I feel like the organization had the opportunity to lend a helping hand to the community by helping to expand awareness of what the ASAP program is offering to people with disabilities and instead they used the opportunity to increase their own profits. How can you take advantage of a program that helps people with disabilities? I’m getting all steamed up inside thinking about it and I plan on writing some letters to some important people.
Anyways, despite my frustrations with the Bobcats organization the positive side is we raised a good chunk of money and participating in the Expo was a blast. It felt really good to have the rugby team out beneath lights with our jerseys on looking sharp. I feel like I was part of a team again, something I miss dearly from my old lacrosse days. I hadn’t been in a rugby chair in a few weeks and once again I felt the improvement. I was pushing faster and turning quicker, and I was ready to tear it up. I’m still the slowest on the team but I feel like I contribute much more than I used to as I was able to set some good picks and even received a pass to cruise in for a score.
After the rugby segment was over, being the biathlete I am, I had to quickly set myself up for power soccer. Power soccer was not quite as exhilarating as rugby was but it was still a good time and I managed to get one goal in to add to my stats. I like power soccer but most of the time I am too worried about my chair breaking to really get into it. I feel bad because the team needs me but I’m not sure if it’s a sport I want to pursue.
After the Expo was over I met Mugsy Bogues which was pretty cool and then I headed out with friends to a bar downtown to get some grub and watch basketball. For the moment I felt really energized but as soon as we got to the restaurant coldness overtook my body and the dreaded fatigue crept in. I was rather frustrating with myself having my three best friends in town and my strongest impulse being to curl in a ball searching for warmth. But as I’ve said many times before, the feeling of coldness and fatigue is a battle I must face and I let the symptoms of my injury sit in the background as much as possible as I had a great time hanging out with my friends. That night we all headed out to the Bobcats game where we watched the Bobcats lose a nailbiter to the Pistons which has become quite the normal fashion for the Charlotte team.
The warmth of my van felt like heaven on the drive home. I pondered over the day which had just occurred and I felt happy, but once again I couldn’t help but feel down as well because of my constant struggle throughout the day to simply sit up in my seat and enjoy the moment. More than anything, I wish I had the energy to attack life the way I want to.
After arriving home I sat and talked with two of my best friends Tyler and Mike for a long while about women and life. Those have been some of my best moments since my injury, sitting in my room and talking with friends. Those moments which make me thankful and so grateful to have the people in my life that I do. Despite paralysis I am a very lucky person.
By the way, to the people of ASAP, the frustrations I mentioned with the expo are in no way directed towards you all. You guys did a fantastic job and I feel blessed to have you all in my life.