Long-Overdue Blog, Bowling, and Personal Update

I have not posted to this blog since October, 2018.

I am okay. I am alive! :-)

I started this blog to “empower wheelchair users” mostly by sharing that having a recreational outlet at which we can compete on a “level playing field” with able-bodied people, that is something that can promote feelings of independence, especially for power wheelchair users like me. Recreational therapists have said that can empower people and positively impact other areas of the wheelchair user’s life.

And with the development of the IKAN Bowler, legitimate bowling became possible for essentially all wheelchair users. So this blog was/is designed to spread the word.

Long story shorter, I helped develop the IKAN Bowler and have bowled 28 games of 200 or better, the first of which occurred on November 6, 2005, and has an interesting and improbable story to go with it (which I would like to share on my blog another time).

The reason I kind of let this blog get dusty is because we ran into inventory issues more than a year ago, and it did not make sense to actively promote something that had limited (at best) availability.

Fast-forward to about February 2020, and we have been attempting to partner with someone who is highly motivated to get bowling into the Paralympic Games. Further, it seems like there is a strong possibility that that will happen sooner than later. If that happens, we should be able to resolve our inventory issues one way or another, and get more people, especially power wheelchair users, bowling – some of whom could represent their country in the Paralympics! :-)

And now, in early April 2020, we are in the midst of a global pandemic with this COVID-19 coronavirus.

Obviously, wheelchair users are in the high risk category for people who may be hit hard by the virus. And life and death issues are clearly more important than bowling.

But eventually this world will return to some kind of normal, or new normal, and I see no reason why bowling cannot be a part of our future, once it is safe to do so again.

So the above plans and progress towards getting bowling into the Paralympics will keep going and, good Lord willing, will eventually happen.

That said, we have to survive this pandemic before we can see such goals come to fruition.

Since people might be understandably frightened by the thought that some of us might not survive, I wanted to share my personal thoughts regarding COVID-19, which is something I wrote and shared with my entire email list and Facebook friends:

HI ALL!

Some folks have inquired about my health, considering a global pandemic is not a friendly environment for me and my fellow quadriplegics, and other people in higher risk categories.

But, praise the Lord, right now I am doing well. I am basically self quarantined, but I do have caregivers coming and going, which is largely unavoidable. So there is still a fair chance of exposure for me, but of course we are trying to be even more conscientious about handwashing, sanitizing, etc. I am also thankful that my job is online, so I am still able to work as a teaching assistant without fear of contracting the virus.

I also like to think that I could fight off COVID-19 if I do get it, as I am thankful to be pretty healthy, and perhaps already being on a ventilator is an advantage? For one, I am breathing through three filters.

I do understand that COVID-19 is a serious issue in multiple ways, and we are taking precautions, but most people think of the worst case scenario as dying, and being Christian, I am not scared of dying and going to heaven. :-) That said, I am also in no hurry for that to happen.

You too can have the luxury of not fearing death, and the promise of heaven, if you choose to have “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” That’s called faith (Hebrews 11:1). I became Christian and had faith prior to becoming paralyzed in 1997, and at the time, my faith was largely based on the wholehearted, clearly evident conviction with which other people staunchly believed – people I admired and regarded as being both highly intelligent and more educated about biblical matters than me.

My faith was only strengthened after becoming paralyzed, when I nearly died during my first hospitalization. I have never been able to articulate it particularly well, but I was clearly given the choice to die and go to heaven right at that time, or stay on earth and figure out life as a quadriplegic on a ventilator. Obviously I chose the latter.

My point is that there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that heaven is real. Which means God and the astonishing gift He gave us (John 3:16) are real. You can have that gift if you simply repent of your sins – none of us are perfect – and choose to accept the gift of Christ and salvation that God offers. You can choose to have faith, and believe that which you cannot see.

People wonder about how a loving God “can allow” bad things like COVID-19 to happen, as well as things like rape and murder. I cannot explain “why” bad things happen, but God does give us humans free will. Doing so comes with some unpleasant realities, at times, which can cause people to question God or even lose their faith. But I say in such times of adversity, that is precisely when we need our faith and God’s help the most. Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

What’s His purpose for us? In a nutshell, I believe it is to help people, or “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). That could be considered extra important during a global pandemic. Washing your hands and staying home as much as possible are good ways to help limit the spread of the virus and to help protect society’s most vulnerable people. In a general sense, simply being kind also helps people, which is something we can all do.

My faith also allows me to not worry, about COVID-19 or anything else, as the Bible says to pray and let God handle our issues. Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

This may seem long, but it is actually a relatively brief explanation for why I am not worried about COVID-19 (or anything else). But that doesn’t mean I/we are not also taking precautions, and trying to make wise choices with the free will God gives us.

Be safe everyone – and may God bless us all! <3

Bill

William A. Miller, BSBA, ME
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
My blog: https://powerwheelchairusers.wordpress.com
Business website: http://www.ikanbowler.com
Personal website: http://www.lookmomnohands.net

About billgator97

I started this blog to highlight how wheelchair users, especially power wheelchair users, are being empowered through sport, in particular: dynamic wheelchair bowling. It's actually bowling that emulates the able-bodied bowling process, i.e. setup, then physically approach and release the ball upon stopping short of the foul line. I happen to be paralyzed from my neck down, and ventilator-dependent, yet I've actually bowled 24 legitimate games of 200 or better. I say that NOT to brag, but to show what is possible and make the point that ANY wheelchair user who can safely operate their chair, they can bowl (I helped invent a device that makes it possible). Please look around and feel free to ask any questions! Thanks and God bless!
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