Well, I couldn't have managed that one if I had even tried!
As you all know, I featured on Look North (Yorkshire) last Friday night, which was very embarrassing! ... Great for CP Teens UK though! When I got the text from the BBC to say 'you're on tonight, BBC 1, 6.30pm!', I was actually on my way to training, so as you can imagine I did not do any training at all when I arrived! I bursted into the Athletics Arena, causing chaos on the track as I started to run towards Adam and Laura - there was nearly dramatic scenes at the EIS when I, with CP (obviously!), decided to try and dart between extremely fast sprinters! Adam and Andy (my coaches) both commented "if only you moved that fast when it came to actually training!". And then Andy said "there's no point in warming up tonight, we're going to get nothing out of you tonight!" ... haha!
So, we went to put the TV on in the EIS reception area. I was the last feature on, and 2 of the stories before me included some kids on scooters doing tricks, and bike riders jumping over hurdles or something?! I'm not quite sure what they were doing specifically as we didn't have the sound on at this point, but me, Adam & Laura were shouting at the TV things like "THERE'S ELLIE! FIRST CP SCOOTER JUMPER!" (they were on skateboard ramps/jumps!).
Even though I didn't purposely arrange it, it felt right to watch it at the EIS, where it was filmed, and with Adam & Laura who were both interviewed and involved in the filming. However, they didn't use Adam's interview ... thought we were going to have tears there and then in the EIS reception that Adam didn't get his 30 seconds of fame!
The whole of the EIS reception just stopped, and Laura swore! We were stood watching it and mine & Laura's phones were just going crazy with "you're on my TV!" messages - I jokingly said "I can't be doing with this fame!".
My Dad was in a pub down the road from the EIS as he had obviously took me to training, and being a male, he had to find a watering hole to pass the hour! When he picked me up, he said he was sat at the bar and there were 6 large TV screens in every corner of the pub, and all of a sudden, all he could see was my face! He then glued his eyes onto one of the screens and the lady behind the bar said "God, it can't be that interesting can it?!", to which his reply was, "Yes, that's my daughter!" ... haha! There was no sound on in the pub, but apparently he could lip read everything I was saying as he knows me (I should hope so being my father!), I don't believe him but still!
Embarassment at it's finest!
So, after my 3 minutes of fame on Look North, and my 20 minutes on BBC Radio Sheffield at the end of October, I gave myself a pat on the back and thought that was it ... how wrong was I?!
On Wednesday, I was honoured to be invited by Gillian & Jane, who set up Accessible Derbyshire, to represent CP Teens UK to help launch 'The Big Push' - a 2 year project with the aim to make the Peak District the most accessible national park, and Derbyshire the most accessible county. It sounds ambitious, but Gillian and Jane are so driven and committed that I know they will most definitely achieve it! They were inspired by their 3 disabled children, Thomas and Sam (Gillian's sons), and Megan (Jane's daughter). I was just so honoured for CP Teens UK to be invited as a 'key organisation' - as you all know, CP Teens UK is ran by my team of 1, me (without sounding big-headed!), so to be invited as a 'key organisation' was an honour. I thought organisations were run by many, many people! Little did I know, Look North were there again!
For some reason, out of all the people who attended, they interviewed me! And then requested to film me using the BOMA 7, a all-terrain electric wheelchair! I can honestly say, I couldn't have arranged 2 TV appearances within a week even if I had tried! I phoned my Mum from the Longshaw Estate where we were and said "Errr ... can you record Look North at 6.30 please?", my Mum was literally like "Oh god, again?!". I got a message from Tanya, who did my feature the week before saying I was slowly taking over BBC Yorkshire!
I honestly thought I was taking my life in my hands on the BOMA 7! It is a 'all-terrain' wheelchair, but I kept thinking 'it won't get over that rock, I'm going to have a flying lesson here!', and 'surely it won't get over this ditch?' as I went over a hole that most probably went to the centre of the earth or something ... but it did! It was a great peice of equipment, and it meant all types of walks could be accessible to me in what is my local area. One slight problem though, it comes with a price tag of £10,000!
Launch of The Big Push with the BOMA 7 wheelchairs either side of the banner
Throughout my life, I have found myself asking a) Why is disability equipment so expensive?, and b) Why do companies get away with selling disability equipment at such high prices? My recent wheelchair cost around £2,500 - why?! Okay, it's a very nice wheelchair, but why is such a basic need in my life so expensive? I am lucky in that I can walk and I am not reliant on my wheelchair all of the time or in the house, but apart from going to University, I do rely on it when I'm out and about.
You probably read my blog post back in March about going to London for the weekend, and on arrival we opened the boot and realised we had forgot the wheelchair. Although I still enjoyed my weekend, it totally changed things. I couldn't go shopping with my Mum and Sister, when we got back to the hotel I just wanted to sleep rather than go out for dinner, I spent most of the 2 days trying not to feel miserable as my back and feet hurt so much and by the Sunday evening I felt about 98! I just don't understand why such a basic need has to virtually have a mortgage taken out to fund it! If supermarkets started charging a couple of grand for bread, milk and eggs, there would be an outcry!
Anyway! This morning, we had the first ever official meeting for CP Teens UK - it was very surreal to be sat there in a boardroom (yes, a boardroom! Unfortunately Lord Sugar wasn't able to attend!) talking professionally about something I had set up, again, I hope that doesn't sound too big-headed! When I was at school, I thought it would be cool one day to set up a charity/a non-profit organisation, but it was more one of those ideas that was just sat there in my head amongst the other 'things I would like to do in the future, but won't happen'. So it was absolutely bizarre to say 'This is my non-profit organisation, CP Teens UK!'.
I won't go into detail because it will bore you to death most probably, but I am confident that in 2015, CP Teens UK is going to bring you some lovely events that you can all attend and get involved with! I am very excited about 2015 for CP Teens UK. I am currently organising event #1, and I hope when I release the details you'll all want to come! If you don't, you must tell me 'Ellie, that is rubbish!' and I will make sure I don't organise it again!
One of the ladies in the meeting said "Ellie, how do you fit it all in?!". Despite what I said on Look North (much to Laura's and Megan's amusement!), it is a struggle. Right now, I should be doing my Webfolio for my coaching module (and I know Andy will probably read this at some point who teaches me for the module ... I did spend most of the afternoon on it!), but running CP Teens UK is a full-time job. I am not complaining for one minute, it is by far the best job ever, but some days are just a blur! Some days, I have to actually ban myself from doing any CP Teens UK work. And my Dad has literally just walked in and said "Have you done that Uni work yet?" ... story of my life! On a serious note though, I do put my University work first and get it done; I am blogging now as I spent 4 hours on my Webfolio this afternoon, and it was getting to the point where I needed to take a break from it as I was starting to write nonsense! And importantly, I enjoy doing my Uni work as it's a subject I have chosen as I'm passionate about it, it's not like school where I spent the majority of time procrastinating and crying into my laptop keyboad!
Earlier my Mum was asking about what weight discus I wanted for Christmas - not your everyday conversation! My sister chipped in with the most funniest comment of "The awkward moment when your disabled sister with Cerebral Palsy is at a national sport level, is studying a Sports Degree at University and has a Christmas list for of trainers and sporty things, and I just sit under my duvet every evening!" ... haha!