Guess what? If you are thinking of either pushing or being pushed in a wheelchair, both of the team members are going to become runners. As in all good teams, it’s a team effort.
If you are pushing, you have to remember that you are the muscle. Your job is to help fulfill the dreams and wishes of the person in front of you. I’ve always considered my job is to get us from the start line to the finish line and to try and step out of the spotlight and let the attention shine on Amanda. I’m running because she wants to go for a run, and if she wants to stay home, I run without her. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen too often.
If you are running together for fresh air and exercise, you’ll be in for a little extra attention. Some people try and lay the “hero” title on me, but I honestly believe that most other runners with a child in the same circumstances would be doing the same thing that I’m doing (see the index article “Running With Amanda” for more). Like any other runner, just get out there and have some fun.
However, if you are entering a race, because the “team” tends to stand out, you will get a lot of attention. You will also be photographed, you will be interviewed, you will have to deal with people trying to use you to benefit their ends, not yours. Remember why you are doing this, and don’t let others deter you from doing what you want to do.
As a pusher, if you are in this to get attention, to boost your ego or to do anything but push the buggy, you need to get another gig. It’s not about the pusher, but about enabling the person in the chair to participate in the event.