We’ve stopped for lunch on day nine . I’m getting stronger every day. The team is coming together more smoothly. Fewer bumps more laughs.

Though we are moving very slowly, time seems to be flying by. It has been two days now since we parted company from our Namibian hand cycling colleagues. They are so strong, so dedicated, so fast. It was a moment for reflection.

I am handcycling across the African continent. I’m 66 years old. I have dreamt of this

for more than half of my life. For the past couple days I have come to realize that am glad that I did not realize my dream earlier. I was not ready before. Like I have said before, I was unable to see.

It is one thing to read that people with physical disabilities, are often denied a voice or the opportunity to play. It is completely and powerfully a different thing to see when someone who has been denied a voice for their whole life, or who has never been given the opportunity to play is offered the opportunity for both.

I will never forget the day we spent with the Namibian national wheelchair users association. The transformation in a young woman’s face with cerebral palsy as she learned the basic moves of fencing was incredible. Likewise, when the secretary of the association, who is a childhood polio survivor, started pedaling a hand bike., You could see his whole body transform as he was seized with joy even for a moment.

Once again, I’m reminded that I was blind, before I lost the ability to walk, and I’m grateful for the ability to see what I could not see before crossing Southern Africa on a hand bike, or as a man with a disability is a richer more rewarding experience than I could’ve ever imagined.

I’m not gonna pretend that I’m glad I have a disability. But I am grateful for the gift and opportunity to transform my disability into something positive and constructive.

In two more days, we will cross into Botswana. I understand that we will be welcomed by a group of paracyclists who will join us in legs as we cross the country

It will be challenging for the rest of the countries we cross to provide the same level of hospitality and generosity, that we received here in Namibia and yet, I will not be surprised if it were at least met.

I have already been deeply touched by this experience, I can only expect it to continue. I am an extremely lucky man to be here.