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Why It Meant So Much When a Friend Asked Me to Slow Down

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I’ve used a wheelchair or a mobility scooter for nearly four years, and it’s only been recently that I’ve managed to build up enough strength to walk places.

I met up with some friends, and we walked through the town center on our way to get some lunch. As we were walking, the friend I was walking next to turned to me and said, “Would you mind slowing down a little?”

These words had me completely taken aback.

For anyone else this would have been a throwaway comment; one that would have been forgotten very quickly and had no consequence. But for me, it represented so much more than that.

For years I have always been the person who has had to ask everyone to slow down, or if we can take a break, or to carry my bag. I felt like I seemed to cause everyone inconvenience. When my friend asked me to slow down walking, it made me realize how much stronger I am. I never thought I would be physically able to walk faster than those around me, and it gave me so much hope.

For the first time, I realized I was far more able than I thought I was, and this gave me a confidence boost that was essential in making me more comfortable with walking. Sometimes it’s the small remarks that seem inconsequential that can make people’s days, and it’s important to remember this.

Getty image by Ryan McVay.

Originally published: May 14, 2018
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