Wheelchairs, Skating, and Gratitude

Three years ago, I dragged Ella to a skate park. If she’d been able to move her legs, she would have been kicking and screaming. As it was, she went under extreme protest.

“I don’t want to do this,” she huffed. “I’m not this girl.”

“You could be,” I told her. “You might like it if you give it a try.”

“I’m not a skater girl. I’m a ballerina.” She stated with absolute certainty.

It took three times down a baby ramp for her to concede that skating in a wheelchair wasn’t the worst thing she’d ever done. Three years later, she flew down quarter pipes, carved corners, and sassed her way onto the podium to win the WCMX Women’s World Championship.

Three years is a long time when you’re twelve, but Ella hasn’t forgotten that horrible first car ride. When the media asked her if she’d like to give a shout-out to anyone watching at home, she shook her head and told them “The only person who deserves a shout-out is here. It’s my mom. If it wasn’t for her bringing me, I wouldn’t be here at all.” Then she glided over to me, wrapped her arms around my middle, and laying her head against my side whispered “Thanks, Mom.”

And then the 2017 WCMX Women’s World Champion let her mother drive her home.




About Rebecca Frech

Rebecca Frech is a Catholic author, speaker, CrossFit coach, and the Managing Editor of The Catholic Conspiracy website. She is the author of the best-selling books Teaching in Your Tiara: A Homeschooling Book for the Rest of Us and Can We Be Friends? She is a co-host of the popular podcast The Visitation Project, and is a columnist for The National Catholic Register. She and her husband live just outside Dallas with their eight children, a German Shepherd named Dave, and an ever-multiplying family of dust-bunnies.
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2 Responses to Wheelchairs, Skating, and Gratitude

  1. Viterbo Fangirl says:

    Congratulations, Emma! You are an absolute inspiration!

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