Let me firstly acknowledge that, on the surface, 'day 16' of a project must seem a rather odd place to begin documenting it on a blog. Secondly, though, I shall give you an analogy - this process is feeling more and more like a pregnancy, as my body prepares to give birth to its new self, and you don't spill the beans on a pregnancy until you're absolutely sure it's happening. Even then, things don't always go to plan.
(I should know. For those of you not acquainted with me in 'real life', the reason I'm on this mission is that I was born very prematurely, at 28 weeks, and developed Cerebral Palsy as a result. Due to this, I have used an electric wheelchair for most of my life and, in 2008, had an extremely difficult time physically. My hopes of walking independently, which I have always held, were almost completely dashed. It is only very recently, in part thanks to my mother's Masters thesis on parent-baby attachment following pre-term births like mine - though for a myriad of other reasons, too, most of which I'll illustrate in the coming weeks - that I've been able even to contemplate recommencing my journey.)
Anyway, to return to the comparison with pregnancy, you wait until at least 12, maybe even 16, weeks before you tell anyone - except (maybe) a select group of family and friends. That's what I've done, if you change 'weeks' to days. Until now, I've been quite circumspect about what's been happening, though admittedly I've posted a few photos on my Twitter account, the following of which amounts to less than 80. I didn't want to get too excited before I got my confidence up; and, to the greater part of this planet's population, a 20-year-old girl taking a few hesitant steps supported by a standing hoist wouldn't seem much of an achievement.
Today, however, something different occurred. I still used the hoist, so it wasn't anything like overnight independence, but I was taking all of my weight, and not sagging into the harness, so that I could actually take isolated and differentiated steps with each foot. This, coupled with the fact that Mama handed her dissertation in today, made me feel like now was the time to begin the blog that people had suggested; time to document the daily steps I take towards my goal of walking independently to collect my degree this time next year.
I hope you'll enjoy the journey with me. Here's to walking by 2013!