The kid

Some people spend a lifetime wishing for a “perfect” child, whether they cannot give birth, adopt, or in some cases, simply feel that their kid is “no good”.

Some others (like myself) are gifted to have that little someone come into our life to make it not only better but also special.

When I broke my neck in ‘88 my Aunt was pregnant, so not all was bad that year; Natasha was born in October, and that brought some light to a very dark time.

In 1990 I spent 5 months in Canada at a rehab facility re-learning how to use my arms, etc.; upon returning to Venezuela, I ended up becoming the nanny of “Bam-Bam”; and yes, I will explain why the nickname: See, at only 2 years of age, Natasha had the strength to give us all a run for our money. Her big sister, who was half my age, was the one that helped me when the kid would get in trouble, like when she tried to climb up the balcony rails.

One day, I was trying to get Natasha to wake up from a nap and go study. As I turned and left her bedroom, she chased after me and pulled my chair trying to stop me; yet, little Bam-Bam ended up flipping my chair back and landing us both on the floor. Luckily nobody was seriously injured, though she sported a diagonal bruise across her chest from the handle… Yes, quite a scary moment.

As time went by, my Mom and I moved to Florida and the kids would come spend summer with us every year. Then, some years later, circumstances led to Natasha having to move up here with us for safety reasons. This meant that I’d take the leading role in raising her. Woohoo, life with a teenager!!!

Adolescence is a rough stage for anyone, but even more for a child who had to be separated from her Mother, School, City, Country. She now had to live with different rules, system, education, but most of all, a new language and culture…. But she’s a badass kid darn it! Not only did she try her best to cope, but our bond grew strong, unbreakable and led to some great times and memories.

She IS my kid, period. We got through high school’s highs and lows. ROTC Ball, Cheerleading squad, and so much more. Today she is a strong and brave woman who, in spite of life’s challenges, has settled into a healthy (too healthy for me sometimes) lifestyle, enjoys sports and the outdoors, and has a sense of responsibility that is beyond admirable. Lucky for me, I get to be a part of her life no matter how much she’s grown. Our bond remains just as strong and I cherish every moment we spend together. Again: That’s MY girl, and I will ALWAYS be so proud of her.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”

I Can and I Will

As a quad, one of my biggest issues when participating in any sport is endurance.

Let’s talk about the stationary handcycle I use and why I like it.

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