I owe major apologies as I know it's been a very long time since I last blogged! I have been very busy and if you follow CP Teens UK on Facebook, you'll have some idea of what I've been busy with. When I first set up CP Teens UK, it was in the back of my mind the idea of possibly setting up CP Teens UK as a charity one day. Well, I've started to explore this idea and I really want to help you all out in person, as well as online through this website and Facebook & Twitter! So, this is where my thought process is, so hopefully in the future, it'll be a reality!
I asked on Facebook if anyone would like to apply to be a CP Teens UK Ambassador. This opportunity is still available, and you can still apply by emailing:
Anyone of any age can apply! An application form will be emailed back to you. CP Teens UK Ambassadors will promote CP Teens UK in their local area (in any way they feel they can - resources such as posters can be provided), form a 'panel' where they will be asked questions etc. (via email) on things affecting young people with Cerebral Palsy/disabilities today, have an active role in the website (brand new ambassador's page to be added), and more! I will stress, this is a voluntary role and you do have the right to pull out at anytime, and you don't have do to everything described in the 'role' if you don't wish to do so.
I am also currently working on a brand new logo with a logo designer for CP Teens UK, so watch this space! I'm excited to see it myself!
Some of you will know that Francesca Martinez has recently released her new book, 'What The **** Is Normal?'! Now, I am not a reader at all, but I read this book in 6 days flat! I really do recommend reading it; I definitely identified with it and it is hilarious, captivating, honest, and simply amazing! As you've probably gathered from the title, it challenges the idea of 'normal' and discusses some powerful stuff, and in my opinon, offers a confidence boost ... oh, and please don't forget to review it on Amazon, it really does get the word out. In the words of Francesca, 'the wobbly revolution starts here!' ... my parents used to describe me as 'just a bit wobbly' when I was little!
As you all know, I am heavily into athletics and on Saturday, it was my second competition. Originally, I was meant to be competing in Manchester on Saturday, but then I had to swap competitions as I needed to be observed whilst competing to finalise my classification. This was all fine by me, apart from letting down people in Manchester, until I realised that it was the England Disability Championships in Birmingham at the Alexander Stadium (home of British Athletics!). I freaked out a bit and I emailed Shelley at British Athletics to sort of go 'ahh help!' (haha, sorry Shelley, I freak out a lot!) and also because I had already entered Manchester where Shelley was expecting me. I then spoke to Dean, another athlete who I had met at my first competition in Macclesfield, who basically told me just to go and stop being a wimp!
So, I went. It wasn't actually as daunting as I thought it would be; I don't know why I dreamt up images in my head of it being this scary, big 'thing'! I was competing alongside Stephen Miller and Josie Pearson (London 2012 Paralympic Athletes!), which was pretty cool; these are the people I sat on my sofa watching on my TV a little under 2 years ago in the Olympic Stadium and now I was sat on the track side as a competing athlete alongside them ... I actually thought to myself, 'this is flipping crazy!' ... Always believe!
I won't go into too much detail, but I really wasn't happy with my performance. For starters, my throwing frame (the club throw is a seated event) is still not ready; this means I have to compete from my wheelchair, which is half the height, probably less, meaning that the distance of my throw is really comprimised ... the higher you are, the further you're going to throw!
Secondly, I had to be tied down so the wheelchair didn't tip. I'll be honest, I've never been tied down before, and because of the position of the straps, it altered the angle of the wheelchair slightly; it might sound like I'm being particularly picky, but this really did change my throw! I suppose you would never really know unless you did the club throw yourself, but the correct angle when throwing forwards (I can't comment for backwards!) is crucial.
Thirdly, my wheelchair was so low that for some reason, when I swung around to throw, I kept catching the straps (told you I'd never been strapped down before!), so I kept droping the club! I even said to myself in the throwing cage 'Ellie, what ARE you doing?!'.
And then, just for good measure, the heavens opened and I was throwing in heavy rain, so I couldn't see ... great!
But, to my great, big, massive surpise, I got a silver medal! I don't think 'I couldn't believe it' even covers it! The funny thing is, my dad was on his phone as we didn't think I'd get anything for one minute and then my name was called over the stadium speakers, and my dad virtually had to put the phone down on somebody! It was such an amazing feeling; the London 2012 Paralympics had made me want to take up a sport, not necessarily athletics as I thought 'athletics is only for the best of the best!' and I was thinking maybe along the lines of a hobby as 'I'd never be good enough at anything', and here I was on the podium at the England Disability Championships!