The Ramblings of 4WheelBob
America's premier wheelchair hiker speaks.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - Back Down to Earth

This morning found me in good spirits. It's been just over two weeks since my White Mountain summit, and that event's taken a lot out of my day - to - day routine. Over the weekend I had two days of hiking, an aggregate of over 12 miles rolled up as I pushed myself to get out again. It felt good each day to shake off the dust that had accumulated since my trip, to find refuge from the welcome crush of e - mails and calls I've been receiving, originating as far away as Germany and Norway. I've had e - mails from other disabled folks, some who are familiar with the concept of breaking through boundaries, some of whom find hiking in a wheelchair completely without a base in sensibility. But it's distracted me from hiking, training, doing what I do as a normal part of my being. Friends tell me I deserve a day or two to soak it all in, yet all I can think of is getting back to normal, carrying on once the massaged ego has been put in check and life must sustain itself outside of the vacuum. The final step was getting some good workout time at the gym last night - I felt great, if a little sore from pushing a lot of reps. And I thought - how nice it was to be getting back to normal...

So I open up this page to see the date - September 11, the day that will live in infamy to those of us who arrived too late to witness Pearl Harbor. And I thought of normalcy, of the thousands of lives lost, of those changed, forever thrown from the course of normalcy. The reality of those who survived, of the families sagging with the burden of carrying on without having had the chance to say goodbye; on this day, it's my hope that time has helped to soothe their pain, to heal them to the extent they can be healed. In some small way I hope I can share their pain, place a dressing on this festering wound that reopens each year on this day. We are empaths to their pain, as a nation coming together to remember, to understand that many of us will never know normal again. One minute there are lunch dates, soccer schedules and the kid's homework - in an instant there is an irreplacable void left by the work of cowards of the first order. Normal? Probably never again, not for those families and friends.

As I get through this normal work day on a normal week, and look forward to a normal evening of working out, talking with my wife and maybe watching TV, just like every other normal American family, I'll remember those whose lives were lost or turned inside out by despair and the agony of having no chance to bid farewell. Today we remember you, as we carry on in our normal lives.




2007-09-11 15:18:44 GMT
Comments (1 total)
Normal, is relative. As a child, normal seemed to be a static word. It was seemingly structured, routine, non-variable. All grown up, normalcy is fluid, ever-changing based on the circumstances presented to us. Maybe things will never be "normal" in the sense they were prior to 9/11, but to find a new norm, a new way to walk one foot in front of the other, means "THEY" didn't win. Those terrorist cowards tried to bring an entire county to its knees, only to see that THIS country will get up, put the pieces together, and put one foot in front of the other to form a new normal. For those who lost in 9/11 and since, I will pray you find a path that will lead to you to a new place you can call normal.
2007-09-12 20:44:11 GMT
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