FUCK IT, BE FREE (NSFW)

If I cannot physically do what society deems “MANLY” does that make me less of a man?

It was Fathers Day and Solstice; Meg and I were getting out of the shower and the sun was pouring in through the skylight. I saw that creative spark in her eyes when she asked if she could take some photos of me. With her help I have come to love myself for who I am, so I didn’t even hesitate to say yes. Getting to see my body through Meg’s creative eye is very special to me.

I have struggled with body image for a long time but I think it’s time to finally let it go. Just because I can’t drink beer and lift heavy things does not make me less than. Empowerment projects do a wonderful job of helping people from all walks of life learn to love themselves; but I feel like there needs to be a bigger emphasis on helping disabled people learn to love the parts that are so often seen as “broken”. I don’t want people to look at these photos and see me; I want them to look at these photos and see them. To see that this body image struggle is the same,  no matter if you’re disabled, healthy, or anywhere in between. We are the same. And we have nothing to be ashamed of.

The entire set of photos includes nudity, so if you’re not into it please do not click through.

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Photos By Meghann Prouse Indie Photographer

Warning Images Contain nudity…of me.

SEE THE ENTIRE SET HERE

 

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@prouska disabled with Multiple sclerosis on dock PNW

Afternoon at Sandy Beach

When the tide is out at Illahee State Park you can head south down the beach and find a hidden gem called Sandy Beach. Sandy Like the name says it’s sandy, very sandy. Stuff like this being 5 minutes from our house is exactly why I love the PNW.

@prouska disabled with Multiple sclerosis on dock PNWThis was the spot to jump off the pier back in the day. I could’ve sworn it was a 40′ drop…

 

At 7 years old Tucker is all about climbing trees. This place has a bunch of rad fallen trees to climb.
Washington ferry passing illahee state parkPerfect spot to watch the Ferry chug by.

Wheels & Red sitting on beach

This was a perfect way to spend the evening. The wind was whipping the warm air off the water.

meg_sandyB 

The trip was awesome even though I had Tucker jump from one log to another and he slipped and got some barnacle bun on his shin. You don’t have to travel far to find adventure, it’s in your back yard.

-wheels

 

Wheels and red ampersand tattoo

YOU & ME

In 2006 I was working as a sous chef in a local fish house. The Chef and I were really good friends, we spent most of our time drinking and playing video games. I started to see less of him when he started dating a Chiropractor. I didn’t mind so much since I was the boss when he was gone.

The Chef came up to me one day and said “I found the girl you’re in a marry”, I was definitely curious. She was the office manager at the Chiropractors. He couldn’t wait, so we hatched a recon mission right then. On our break we would hit the store to pick up a card and chocolate and then stop in at the office to see his lady. While we were there I would just nonchalantly  check out this hottie office manager.

I wasn’t nervous until we pulled in, I had no idea what we were walking into.  the first thing I saw when I walked into the office was a gorgeous redhead. She was obviously annoyed to have another guy in distracting the doctor. With her being so busy and her glasses on her head she hardly even noticed I was there. But I noticed her. After we left I found out she didn’t see me, I was huddled in the corner a bit. I later found out she wasn’t looking to see anyone but with a little convincing the Chiropractor was able to give me her number.

We met the first time for coffee. I was so nervous I went to the bar across the street and pounded a couple Irish Car Bombs first. Our coffee date was great, she choked on whip cream and nearly slipped and I was drunk. Meg thought I wasn’t into her but the truth is I was trying to hold my sloppy ass together. We both had enough fun to go out again and within 2 weeks we were dating.

We were married a little over a year later, May 19th 2007. We just celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary and couldn’t be happier. We have been through a lot together but it has always been together.

Our close friend offered to do our dorky matching anniversary tattoos. We will always be Wheels & Red… Kel & Meg… You & Me. Happy Anniversary, you’re my favorite.

yeahrockout getting ampersand tattoo at woodwork tattoo poulsbo waWheels and red ampersand tattoo

Wheels and red breakfast in the van

Our friend Sammy


We had our friend Sammy stay with us for just over a week. Sammy is an amazing dude living the #vanlife. While he was here he jumped at every opportunity to help out, the guy even mowed my yard with a broken foot. He stays in his ’78 Econoline Camper with Silas the cat, traveling around creating and helping people. He is an all around badass.

We all learned from Sammy while he was here. Tucker even scored his first big kid skateboard. Having rad creative people coming through the house is what makes unschooling so special.

Family sitting around fire in the PNW

Sammy gave Tucker his phone and told him to get a pic from up in the apple tree. Instant cool points.

PNW fire pit multiple sclerosis

Sammy was kind enough to make us breakfast in the van one morning. Check out Meg’s 5 minute project to see our breakfast adventure.

5 minutes at 11 o’clock // April

Wheels and red breakfast in the van

Having a solid base of friends and family has made all the difference. We all have struggles but we don’t have to face them alone.

Wheels and Red with friends

-wheels

Trek to Cali

Since starting this project I have reached out to a lot of cool people. Some of the first were the awesome people at the National MS Society. The timing was perfect, they were planning on shooting a video to help people who are newly diagnosed with MS navigate the craziness.

A week after telling them my story they asked me and the family to fly down to Los Angeles and tell our story to the camera. It was a short trip but we had a ton of fun. Hopefully this isn’t the last project we do with the NMSS.

venice BeachWe arrived on a beautiful 82 degree day. We unloaded our bags at the hotel and headed out to Venice Beach.
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with b2 presetWe stopped at the Venice Beach Skatepark to watch the dudes shred and pick up chicks, both were great to watch.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBefore we flew out we headed up to Santa Monica to check out the pier.
Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetWell hello PNW it’s nice to see you again!

Big thanks to all the awesome people who made this trip happen. We can’t wait to see you all again soon.

 

-wheels

I Like Canes

I have shown you one of my canes already but I have another favorite. Yup, I have multiple assistive devices. You don’t wear the same shirt everyday, why would I rock the same cane.

I am lucky to have such a talented wife to photograph this journey we are on. I asked her to take some photos of me with my new Sabi Classic cane, of course she said yes, she’s cool like that. We headed down the street to a small park just above the marina to goof around.

I really like the look of my new cane, plus the feel of it makes it an all around badass walking stick. The hook handle feels really natural in my hand, and it’s super useful for grabbing things. I have enjoyed trying to find other uses for the cool handle.

The rubber used in the tip is really bouncy and super grippy. This thing also has almost no weight to it, it almost glides in the hand while you’re walking.


Let me just show you how cool this thing is.

Young man standing with black sabi classic cane looking over water man walking with black sabi classic cane

sabi classic wood handle

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My friend Liz also rocks a Sabi cane — check out her blog at The Girl With The Purple Cane.

Have a look at all the Sabi products at Sabi.com

Big thanks to my rad wife for taking these photos, Meghann Prouse Indie Photographer.

-wheels

So you’re in Seattle, with GregR

It’s finally here! My podcast with GregR, the morning dude on 107.7 The End. The first attempt to record this was junked due to technical difficulties, but we gave it another go. I had a ton of fun chatting with GregR before we headed over to Emerald City Comicon.

Check it out would ya!

                                                    itunes logostitcher so you're in seattle Multiple sclerosis awareness

kid in toon link costume at kndd radio station

Big props to my man GregR for having me on his podcast. Check out other episodes here, also find GregR on Twitter @gregr1077.

Thank you Meghann Prouse Indie Photographer for the photos.

-wheels

Conversations

After technical difficulties botched our first attempt at this, we finally were able to get something good enough to put on air. This is the public affairs program “Conversations”, that runs 6 a.m. Sunday mornings on 107.7 The End.

Check out my 12 minute interview with my man GregR, where I tell him about my MS and what Wheels & Red is all about.

Prouska with GregR in Studio B KNDD 1077 The End Radio station

 

At the end of the week I am heading back into KNDD to be on the “So you’re in Seattle” podcast with GregR. Look for that to be up in the next couple weeks.

-wheels