Sunday, May 2, 2010

Freedom from the tarmac

I've been doing wheelchair dancing for almost four years now. It's really rad to be able to do things that people don't expect me to be capable of.

Every year, on Freedom Day, we do a demonstration at a disability awareness walk. It is always really early in the morning because we have to dance before the people start their walk for awareness. My partner, Jesse, and I are not what you would call 'a morning person'. We have perfected the art of faking being awake.

You must know, when we are dancing, there is bound to be some sort of catastrophe.

Just so you understand the circumstances that we were dancing under, the walk starts outside Vangate Mall. That means that we had to dance outside on the tarmac. Don't worry, that's certainly not the worst thing we've been required to dance on. The worst by far, was dancing outside the parliament buildings on, wait for it, cobblestones. I promise you, that was a unique experience if I ever had one.

But to get back to the story, last year, at the walk, Jesse forgot to check the back wheel (that's the one that keeps the chair stable) and well, I went over backwards. very close to hitting the floor. Luckily, Jesse had fast reflexes that day.

So, this year, to keep up the tradition, we had yet another extravagant failure that nobody noticed because they thought it was all part of the show.

It started off with a power failure. Lucky for us, the police band was there and we made a plan. I have to say, I've never done that before. Then, half-way through the demonstration, power was restored. The first song that actually played was an awesome tango. Then....Quickstep.

Now, quickstep in general is a pretty fast dance to begin with. But now, Jesse is a bit of a showoff. I knew when he looked at Danielle (she's another dancer who dances with Mukkie, he's in a wheelchair as well) that it was not going to end well.

Off we went. When we had gone around the floor once, Jesse tripped. Hold the gasp. He tripped over a rock, smaller than a pea. When going at speed, the smallest thing can create the most disastrous situation.

Jesse fell to his knees, with very little grace, I have to say. What made things worse was that he was holding my arms, which meant that I was on two wheels once again. He realised that he would be in big trouble if I had landed on my head.

He kind of did a sort of mooncrawl, stumbled a little, stood up and pretended that nothing had happened. Amidst all of this hysteria, there were a couple of choice words in there. I'm forever hopeful that people didn't hear us. When we walked off the floor, we saw the damage. Jesse's pants are now is his knee.

I don't think Jesse understands how much I trust him. He thinks I don't trust him because I won't let him kick over my head. I trust him completely, his hamstrings not so much.

It's nice to have someone who you know will destroy himself in order to save you. I hope everyone has a person like that in their lives who they trust entirely.

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