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I have an undiagnosed, progressive, neurological ataxia. The progressive part of this is represented by the fact that up until a year and a half ago, I was pedaling a recumbent trike and throwing down monster rides such as 75 miles with 1500 feet of elevation gain. Did I give up after not being able to pedal with my feet and legs any longer? Nope, I’ve just had to adapt and figure out new ways to keep my body engaged.

With ataxia, there are symptoms. Symptoms such as not being able to coordinate my legs and feet to walk, having a vocal spasm that makes it difficult to sometimes understand what I am trying to say, feeling that lack of coordination and the tremor creep up to my hands, making me fumble with my fingers at fine motor skills, and having to pick-up beverages and food with both hands to avoid spilling the contents, or shaking my coffee grounds all over the counter. My morning routine of getting ready for work has doubled in time.

These symptoms are things that my body is deciding to do, without me. They are effectively out of my control. When I get in the race wheelchair, these symptoms go away. I may be losing the battle for control over aspects of my body, but this, this I can control. And that’s enough. More than enough, that is powerful, addicting, a catalyst that explodes into all other areas of my life. I still have moments of slight panic, wondering what I’ve gotten myself into and then it fades away. Yeah, it’s going to be work, it’s going to be hard, there is high potential for disappointment, but all of that, I’d gladly accept over the alternative of sitting idle and wasting away.

To learn more about me and my journey, please visit my website: http://www.kippitmoving.com/

Kipp Wesslen