An exciting pretender experience: a visit to the swimming pool as a paraplegic
Not so far from where I live there is a modern swimming pool, accessible for wheelchair users. That’s the place where I go regularly swim as a paraplegic. I park my car, put myself in my wheelchair and wheel myself to the entrance. I pay the entrance: the lady asks the special price for the disabled (I can’t tell here that I have ‘no right’ to pay this price, can I?). I wheel myself to the elevator for wheelchair users and go downstairs to the dressing-rooms. There I call one of the employees to open a special room for disabled persons. The room is spacious and has bars on the wall. It has two doors, one where I enter and at the other side one which leads directly to the special shower and toilets for disabled.
When I’m undressed, I wheel myself into the toilet for disabled. Afterwards I go to take a shower. There I’m already in public as you can see these special showers from some parts of the swimming pool. My naked crippled feet are looking great on the footrests. I lower myself on the ground. I push my chair a little bit further, so that it does not become too wet when the shower sprinkles. I then open the shower and let the water flow over my disabled body. Afterwards I drag myself back to my chair and with the help of the special bars on the wall, put myself up and crawl in the chair. Than I wheel into the public area. I can feel that people are doing their best not to stare at me.
I wheel myself to the border of the pool, take one leg with both hands and put my foot on the ground. I do the same with the other leg. I put up the footrests, close the breaks and lower myself on the ground near the water. I push myself on my bottom over the border of the pool and let my body slide in to the water. Meanwhile, members of the surveillance team come to park my chair against the wall. We arrange that I will call them when I want to leave. I then swim some lengths only moving my upper body. My legs are floating behind me. When I want to rest, I go to the on-deep part of the pool where I can sit on my bottom. When I want to stop swimming, I crawl out of the water. Two helpers bring my chair, they arrange the towel on the seat, and take me from the ground in to the wheelchair. I then wheel back to the special disabled accommodation to take a new shower and dress myself.
Swimming is a very pleasant sport for paraplegics