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Kim's first motorcycle ride supports fallen law enforcement officers

By Kim Wooten, Staff Reporter
Published on Friday, September 26, 2014

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Michele Fowler takes Kim Wooten on a ride in the Deputy Roger Rice Memorial fundraiser last Sunday to benefit families of fallen law enforcement officers.
 

David Wooten Photo

Michele Fowler takes Kim Wooten on a ride in the Deputy Roger Rice Memorial fundraiser last Sunday to benefit families of fallen law enforcement officers.

 



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Kim learned to adjust her body for stability and balance during the ride.
 

David Wooten Photo

Kim learned to adjust her body for stability and balance during the ride.

 



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On the home page: Michele Fowler and Kim Wooten begin their ride to honor fallen law enforcement officers.
 

David Wooten Photo

On the home page: Michele Fowler and Kim Wooten begin their ride to honor fallen law enforcement officers.

 

With the wind hitting my face and admiring the beauty of nature I only think of how grateful I am to be able to enjoy a motorcycle ride with my best friend — despite having Cerebral Palsy.

People with disabilities are routinely told what they cannot do, or how hard and what a burden it would be to allow us to try new things.

Early on, my parents and teachers learned that “can’t” was a powerful word for me. When someone tells me that I cannot do something it becomes a challenge and I find a way to prove that I can. That attitude has enabled me to achieve many things, let alone the people in my life who have facilitated and allowed me to do the things I want.

I wanted to learn to ride a motorcycle so I could participate in the memorial ride last Sunday honoring Deputy Roger Rice and all the men and women in blue who have died in the line of duty.  I asked my best friend, Michele Fowler, what she thought about me trying to ride with her. She was in.

We had to think of a way to give me a little more balance and stability for going over bumps and for stopping. Michele put a belt around my waist and the back of the seat and it worked perfectly.

At first I was nervous and held on to Michele’s waist. After a few minutes of riding, I started to relax and felt comfortable enough to let go of Michele and just hold on to the strap on my seat. I learned quickly how to lean when turning or around curves, how to squeeze Michele with my legs for balance as we turned, and how to push back as she breaks.

We rode for 20 minutes the first time. Afterwards my quads and core muscles were sore because they’re not used to working in that way.

Riding is therapeutic in many ways. It works and strengthens my muscles like in physical therapy.

The freedom I feel as I ride in the wind is remarkable. I am not stuck in my wheelchair  —  I am free. Free to see God’s beauty in a different perceptive, free to feel like I’m flying in the wind. When I am on the back of the bike I forget that I have a disability.

• About the author: Kim Wooten, 25, was born with cerebral palsy, which is a condition that affects her muscles and muscle control. She graduated cum laude in 2010 from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Business Administration. Wooten is married and has a 2-year old daughter.

 

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