Thursday, 29 May 2008

My Aim Is To Inspire

It has come to my attention that some people think the title 'How To Be An Inspiration` is in some way ironic, and that I don't really consider myself Inspirational. Nothing could be further from the truth. Inspiration is my middle name (actually it's Harry but let's not quibble). So, how has this misconception come about? Probably because up until now I've kept that side of my life private because I'm an innately modest and humble person.


Being disabled, it is beholden on me to make the able-bodied feel good about themselves. Obviously the best way to this is to raise money for their charities. But think how much better they'd feel if they cut out the middle man and gave it directly to the disabled person himself. Shall we give it a go? I've got Pay-Pal.


Another role I have is to go on fantastically difficult or dangerous adventures to raise funds and, of course, raise awareness. You will probably remember my attempt to cross the Atlantic on a pedalo. And I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank the coastguard and to say that I've taken on board their advice that a bottle of sun screen does not constitute sufficient safety equipment for a voyage of that length. It's a pity that the money raised was cancelled out by the cost of the air/sea rescue.


You will also remember my attempt at the London Marathon. I would like to say, here and now, that they should make it clearer that the wheelchair race is not open to Invalid Scooters. I think that I should be applauded for managing to shuffle 26 miles on my bottom, and although I'm sorry for the resulting traffic chaos, I still think 19 weeks is a pretty good time.


I suppose I'm most proud of the time I led that expedition to the South Pole. The so called 'experts` said it couldn't be done; leading a group of blind quadriplegics across the Antarctic using only a husky and some Zimmer frames. The fact that they were right does nothing to detract from the sense of achievement I felt at losing so few people. Of course next time I will insist that expedition members pack more than just a pac-a-mac, some woolly mittens, and a Thermos flask.


So, I think I've proved my point. As a disabled person I'm inspirational, which is why I feel inspired to invite you on my next awareness raising adventure, sign up now if you want to join me in crossing the Sahara. You'll have to bring your own flip-flops.