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    Sep 23, 2013

    27 Things You'll Only Know If You're A Wheelchair User

    Being a wheelchair user is kind of like being in a secret club.You look at the streets and buildings differently and, sometimes, you get to use separate entrances to everybody else.

    1. You'll always be the first to know if someone's fly is undone.

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    Do us a favour and keep the peep show zipped up.

    2. Your dance moves aren't traditional but they still work.

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    And, damn, they look good.

    3. You know each and every crack or pothole on pavements and walkways.

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    Broken pavements, cracks in the path, no slope down from the path to the road... Your hawk-eye view of the ground doesn't miss a beat.

    4. Cobblestones are proof that hell is a place on earth.

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    That goes for the girls in their stilettos too.

    5. When a new road or path is laid down, the thrill of bump-free wheeling is overwhelming.

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    It is heavenly.

    6. When a buggy is waiting at the bus stop, war is about to commence for that sacred space reserved for wheelchairs or buggies.

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    Most buses only allow space for one wheelchair or one buggy. So when push comes to shove, vying for that space can be dirty business.

    7. If you've experienced the hills of Edinburgh or San Francisco, you feel unstoppable...

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    When you're going uphill, repeat the mantra "at least my arms will be toned".

    8. ...until you see steps with no accompanying ramp.

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    Unless you can count on the kindness of strong, burly strangers to lift you down, steps are thine greatest enemy.

    9. Wheelchair bathrooms often double up as storage closets.

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    A lot of venues use their wheelchair bathroom as storage areas or keep it under lock and key therefore making it inaccessible and sort of pointless.

    10. Sometimes, they don't even fit a wheelchair.

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    You will be a pro at parallel parking by the end of it all.

    11. That's why it's handy to keep a list of Four-Star hotels that have wheelchair bathrooms in their lobby.

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    Seriously. Get to know your expensive hotels and use them as your pit stop when you're out and about.

    12. They have proper big wheelchair toilets in there AND they have nice soap.

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    Soap and sometimes even gold-plated taps.

    13. Not every day in a wheelchair is like this.

    Even though you wish you could look this good on the court.

    14. Even if Lady Gaga is stealing our style.

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    We're onto you...

    15. There are days when it feels like everything is closed off to us.

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    Stairs, escalators, broken lifts, small doors, tight spaces, rough paths, giant hills - we are up against a lot of things.

    16. You get asked inappropriate questions all the time.

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    "Do you mind me asking what happened?" is a question you should refrain from asking for a while. Get to know the person in the chair first.

    17. And sometimes people talk about you like you're not there.

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    Ask us what we need, don't assume what's best for us.

    18. But it's important to make an entrance.

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    Glide into every party as if you're wheeling onto a yacht.

    19. When people call you brave, it never feels like a compliment.

    But you'll take it anyway.

    20. You never let anybody stop you doing your thing.

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    You'll never get anything done if you listen to the naysayers.

    21. You say toodles when you get to skip them in the queue to the club.

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    Some clubs or music venues have flat entrances, so get to know where they are. Leave the days of queuing in the rain behind you.

    22. You know sometimes people will stare.

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    So just stare back.

    23. But you don't let the tough days get you down, especially if you're new to this.

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    Some days will be really tough but never let them get the better of you.

    24. You know facilities are definitely improving for wheelchair users.

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    Things have come a long way in the last 10 years and they can only get better.

    25. Not even a hipster on a fixie can rival your wheel skillz.

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    Wheelies, donuts, sharp turns. You have it all down to a tee.

    26. You surround yourself with good friends.

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    Never underestimate the power of a good buddy.

    27. And you hope one day to be as badass as this dude.

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