The plane landed and I looked at Joe and said, “Here goes!” I was excited by the prospect of taking on Heathrow, I had done laps, I had lifted weights, I had visualized the push. I was met on board by two men offering to get me off the plane, through customs and on to luggage. It was ironic that the first time I decided to do it on my one was also the first time that the wheelchair assistants were at the plane on arrival. I said that I thought I could do it on my own. They told me it was a long way, I said that I thought I was up to it. They stayed with me for a bit and then, shaking their heads, left.

OK, made it to the customs hall. Got a bit of a break because, though it was a long way, there were lots of downhills. Once through customs and through luggage, we were heading over to the rental car area. This was a really long push and I was working hard, I slowed to go through a door and suddenly my head jerked back. I was so shocked that I didn’t know what happened. A guy was behind me, not an airport pusher but just a random guy, he declared, loudly, that he would help me. I grabbed my tires and screamed, “NO!” He used real force to push me and I told him to leave me alone.

He left angry. His help spurned and my guts were churning with anger and stress and violation. I continued on, Joe catching up just after this had happened. He just said quietly that he’d seen what had happened.

I got to the bus for the rental car.

I got to the car, a long push from the desk.

I got to the hotel room, through plush carpet.

And you know what?

I feel defeated.

Two feet, two fucking feet. He pushed me two fucking feet and took away my victory. How dare he do that to me? He grabbed me. He assaulted me. He inflicted himself on me.

And he took my victory.

Two fucking feet. I pushed it all, except two damn feet.

You may think me weak or over emotional.

But I’m crying as I write this.