Do I go or do I stay? - Blogs - Fencing Discussion
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Greybeard's Brain Blog

Do I go or do I stay?

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by , 07-18-2011 at 06:52 PM (884 Views)
I donít know what to do. I havenít worked since January of 10. I know I can do it. I am doing volunteer work with the Brain Injury Foundation and the Access Committee at the SD Zoo. It is our task to update the Zoo and Safari Park ADA Book to make sure the Zoo complies with the new regulations and then train zoo employees.

I am also trying to raise money for wheelchair fencing and am coming up with a big goose egg. I know they said to expect some rejection but $20 out of a thousand letters.

I was told to get interested in something I like. Well, I like fencing and it just happens to be an outrageously expensive sport. The fact that I now fence chair limits what I can do and if I want to fence in a tournament I have to go somewhere. Be it NAC, Nationals, or the occasional stray tournament like the Crescent City Open.

At this point I believe I am the only chair fencer in San Diego, I fence ABís but because of my situation I donít drive at night and so my fencing is limited to one lesson a week in my garage and maybe 5 or 6 bouts after the lesson. I am talking to another club that is closer to my house to see if we can move the frame there so I can drive myself and fence.

I had hoped I might have a chance at making the Paralympic team next year, but that hope is having water thrown on it. I need to raise money to travel to some international World Cups. Why are they all in Europe? OK, one in Canada. That was the weekend of my wifeís birthday, so we werenít going anywhere.

I think she would be happy if I just gave it up. I just had a couple of pictures from Nationals blown up and it cost $58 to have them professionally mounted. All I got was a , ďif thatís what you want.Ē Yes I know we are living on my disability and your salary. How about faking interest?

I still cannot accept the new me. I used to run and jump; now Iím lucky to walk across the room. I want to play with my 5 year old twin grandsons and roughhouse. I look at my fellow wheelies and wonder how they do it. They have suffered traumatic injuries and they just go on. I have had dark thoughts about the scratch and dent me and have come to the conclusion there is no ROI on me. I am so sick of doctors and family telling me I canít do stuff. I am doing it. Although, at PT today to help my balance there was one exercise where I could not even lift my leg off the table. Then the thought crossed my mind that if they get me walking any sort of distance and with balance I will no longer be a wheelie. Take one more thing away from me that I can do.

My wife said I can do a lot of things-yes, but they are things I have no interest in doing. Then I have this stupid litigation with my ex employer. The stuff they are saying are such vicious lies. And they have no documentation.
At home I am treated like a galley slave. Who fills, runs, and empties the dishwasher? Who cleans up after breakfast? Who does the boys and our laundry?

SO now back to the big decision. Do I just cash in my chips and sell all my fencing equipment? I am just having no interest in my lessons since it is getting hot out here for the summer and I just donít want to fence in 90+ degree heat in my garage, and with the same person. What the heck do I do?


  1. lindajdunn's Avatar
    Why does it have to be either or?
  2. Greybeard's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by lindajdunn
    Why does it have to be either or?
    Either or what? The cost is killing me and I want to fence so much more. There are a couple of chair fencers in LA, but they are easily a two hour drive and I would need someone to drive me.

    It's just so frustrating. I still cannot accept the "new" me.
  3. Greybeard's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Downtown
    Thanks. I have never been a quitter, but it seems so much easier. Like I told Linda, I still haven't accepted the "new" me. I want to fence, I want to work, I want to spend time with my wife. Being on disability severely restricts discretionary spending.
  4. lindajdunn's Avatar
    Allow me to rephrase: Is it really that important to try for the paralympics, which is unfortunately beyond the means of most of us? Would recreational wheelchair fencing be sufficient?

    We have a wheelchair fencer at our club and we put a chair out for whoever is fencing her during practice. It's not competitive fencing but it's still fencing.

    One of the down sides of a disability is that the person with the disability has to reach out, educate, adjust, etc. We're invisible unless we put ourselves forward. It's not that people don't care; it's that they're unaware.

    Really wish there were better options. Virtual hug.
  5. Dread Pirate Roberts's Avatar
    What about other wheelchair sports? Wheelchair fencing is pretty obscure, other wheelchair sports might have more people participating giving you more opportunity to become involved in disabled sports locally. While fencing might be your sport of choice, it doesn't look like you have much of an opportunity to participate locally, it seems logical to examine other sports you might enjoy as much or more so.

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