24 Things All Girls In Wheelchairs Should Know

Here's what I have learned over the last four years.

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1. Look after your hands.

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Wheeling and dealing will dry out your hands and nails so moisturise, moisturise, moisturise, or wear some gloves to protect your paws.

2. Want to wear heels? Remember to bring Allen.

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If you're switching from flats to heels, you can adjust the height of your footplate with an Allen key so your knees aren't too high up.

4. But don't become your friends' cloakroom.

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Your mates will notice that the back of your chair is a great place to hang their coat. Issue a two-item maximum and anything after that will cost 'em.

5. Remember to pack a mirror.

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Mirrors in wheelchair bathrooms are a luxury and most mirrors elsewhere are too high up. Bring your own compact mirror so you can maintain wandering eyeliner.

6. Wear long skirts with caution.

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Long skirts, scarves, coats, and capes are all at risk when you're in a wheelchair. Those front wheels are pesky little fellows and if you don't keep an eye on things, you could have one hell of a wardrobe malfunction on your hands.

7. Tights will have a short lifespan.

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Tights – for some mysterious reason – have the shortest shelf life when you use a wheelchair. Ladders and rips appear everywhere ALL THE TIME. Embrace your grunge side or be prepared to stock up on a weekly basis.

8. There is no graceful way to lift your wheelchair into a car.

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Believe me, I have tried. Whether you're in jeans or a skirt, there's no way to make it look classy. You just gotta LIFT.

12. Staying fit is easier than you think.

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Gym instructors and personal trainers live for challenges. Tell them what you want to achieve and they'll develop a programme to suit your needs.

13. You just have to think outside the box.

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A chair can be a pretty badass thing.

15. Long tops and high waists are a blessing.

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Because you are sitting down the majority of the time, wheelchairs can make your torso look shorter than it is or cause your clothes to ride up. Long or loose tops will give you the appearance of a longer torso and high-waisted jeans or skirts can conceal any potential builder's-bum scenarios.

17. Invest in add-ons for your chair.

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If you want to go off the beaten track, buying add-ons like this FreeWheel will make life so much easier. Trips to the beach or music festivals will be a doddle.

18. Get a backpack.

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Handbags can sit quite awkwardly in your lap and hide your body from view. Backpacks sit on the back of your chair and you can fit everything in them. They're a lifesaver at festivals when you need to fit absolutely everything in to survive.

20. Learn to ignore back-handed compliments.

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Just smile and nod.

21. "You're so pretty for a girl in a wheelchair."

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Uh-huh.

24. You're not an inspiration. You're you.

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Stella Young said it perfectly during her TEDxSydney talk "I'm not your inspiration thank you very much". You're not an inspiration.

You're just doing you, like everybody else out there.