So, this is our first ever blog for CP Teens UK! I'll introduce myself a bit:
I'm Ellie and I am 18, and as you've probably guessed, I have Cerebral Palsy. I have just finished A Levels in English Language, Sociology and Health & Social Care, and I came out with 3 B's, which was a complete shock, especially with Sociology as I spent the whole 2 years going 'I. really. do. not. understand. this. subject.' and busily talking my way through every lesson! I left school not having a clue what I wanted to do with my life; how can you possibly know at 18?! So, I took a gap year, which I am currently in. I recommend everyone to take a gap year as it has made me realise what I truly want to do. As I have not had to spend every hour god sends studying, I have had the time to take up Paralympic Sport (very much inspired by London 2012, I was in awe!). I train in the Club Throw and Sprinting and it's put a whole new perspective on my life, as weird as it sounds. I have had amazing experiences, such as meeting Hannah Cockroft, attending Team GB training days, and being trained by some of the UK's top disability coaches. Besides this, I have my own amazing coach; the time that he gives to me, which is his own free time, and the patience and the amount of belief he puts into me is incredible. As well as one-to-one sessions, he also coaches me alongside able-bodied athletes as he says he sees me as 'no different' and it also educates the able-bodied teenagers. I can't even describe how much he has boosted my confidence, which is also pretty cool to say he did it through sport and I have a physical disability!
From this, I decided that I wanted to provide other disabled people with what I was experiencing; the opportunities, the confidence, the ability to play sport and the sense of achievement. I have now applied to university for various sports coaching degrees and I aspire to be a disability coach. You see, if someone said a year ago, 'do a sports degree', I would have laughed out loud! If anyone dares to say that the olympic legacy is not alive, then they need to wake up! I wasn't really one for watching sport (or even participating for that matter), but the 2012 Paralympic games had me glued to my sofa and I made it my mission to try and find some Paralympic sport near me and it took me 9 months, but thanks to the power of Twitter and a Sports Fest organised by Paralympics GB, I got there!
As I said, I've just finished school, and life is a bit bizarre. My friends have moved away to uni, and as weird as this sounds, out of all of the things in my life, it was one of the hardest things ever. I think in the past, no matter what's happening in life, they've always been there (with the odd exception of a teenage diva tantrum, but we'll just ignore that!), and then suddenly, they're at the opposite end of the UK! But, it makes Christmas and Easter extra special when they come home, so all is not lost!
People often ask me about funny experiences with having Cerebral Palsy, so to give you a giggle, I'll list some!...
Is that your lighsaber?! - I used to use a plastic sticky mat thing that kept stuff like paper and plates still and it rolled up into a tube. One day, my friend was carrying it outside to meet our group of friends and a random youth worker from some outside agency stopped her dead in the corridor and went, 'Oi, is that your lightsaber?!'!
Will you pass the 'prom test'?! - we had just finished our GCSE's and we went out for a meal to celebrate. It was the Year 11 prom the following day and as we were all 16, it was strictly no alcohol before or during the prom. One of my friend's over the meal said 'I've heard that they do a 'corridor test' as you go in and if you can't walk in a straight line, you're kicked out!', to which I piped up, 'Oh dear, that's me out then!'! It was genuinely the funniest moment ever, I thought that one of my best friends was going to pass out!
What made your science experiment invalid?! - as part of our Science GCSE, we did an experiment on how caffeine affects reaction speed by catching a falling ruler before and after drinking coke. After the experiment, the teacher asked if anyone's experiment results were invalid and why, and my friend put her hand up and said 'Ours are invalid, Ellie was catching the ruler!'! It was so funny, and I promise she wasn't being mean - you most definitely had to be there
Where has my wheelchair gone?! - I once stayed in a top London hotel and they did everything for you, e.g. when we pulled up outside in the car, they took the keys and parked it up for us! We didn't really want the wheelchair in our rather amazing room and they offered to store it in the lobby for us. The next morning, I needed it to go shopping, so we asked for it and they couldn't find it anywhere - they had only rented it out for the day to another guest!
Moving on, I'd just like to thank Jared Freeman for making this website possible! He is a very talented teenager with Cerebral Palsy who created this website through lots of emailing with me. So, a big thank you to Jared, you're a star!I am looking for guest bloggers from now, so please do get in touch, I'd love to hear from you! It doesn't matter how short or long it is and I'd love to see photos and even videos of you all! I hope you're all following us on Twitter and Facebook, and a quick reminder that you can follow my personal Twitter, @TheActualEllieI will of course continue to blog myself alongside our guest bloggers.