If you look at Kati, you will see a beautiful incapacitated woman in a wheelchair. If you get to know Kati, you will see an untamed spirit, a fearless soul, a source of authentic positive energy. Kati is the pure essence of what makes humans transcend into eternity. She travels through life along a unique and profound path, and as her husband, I get a free ride.
Last stop we made down this trail was; ‘Miss Wheelchair World 2017’ in Warsaw, Poland.
Do you know what you get when you have twenty-four wheelchair using women from all over the world in one room? A bundle of pure and untamed positive energy.
The organizers had their hands full but still managed to do a great job. It was a joy to see so many organizations, companies, and people coming together to create a positive event.
The women had seven long and hard days of workshops and choreography training, which led to a final gala that was stunning. However, for as impressive that the gala was, it was far from the best of what the whole event had to give.
The best by far was behind the scenes. To witness these women in action was a privilege. To be a witness to their strength, determination, and conviction was an honor and joy. There was no animosity in the air. It was like a gathering of old friends. Everybody was supporting each other. The women were working together to create a better future for all humankind. These superwomen seem to understand what many world leaders do not comprehend; ‘that united we stand, divided we fall.’
The spirit of unity was shared between all who were there; parents, siblings, spouses, friends, assistants, organizers, and crew members. It was humanity at its best. I felt blessed to have met these people and been able to be part of their lives and such event.
At the end of the journey, an incredible joy and an overloaded feeling of happiness overtook me. I did not see people anymore as for how they looked like; their race and not even gender, I saw them as humans. To put this all biblical way; ‘I felt as if I was between angels and saw God himself.’
The courage of the person with paralysis, the conviction of the disabled, and the strength of the physically impaired are all things that we all can learn a lot from them. Do not let the circumstances define who you are. To live your dreams, to share and spread your love and to enjoy the moment, enjoy your life.
Henning van der Hoeven
Kati’s ‘Miss Wheelchair World Warsaw 2017’ Diary
“True beauty is felt not seen.”
First photo shoot; spirits are high; everyone is excited and ready to rock the world. The day is long and tiring still everyone is delighted, the photographer knows what he is doing, and he manages to get out the best out of each one of us. He catches our spirits and our souls.
“When the going gets tough, the tough get tougher.”
Everyone is still tired from yesterday. However, if you want to see the actual strength of a woman, just strap her to a wheelchair and watch her go. She will make the difficult seem comfortable as she rolls out of the deep and turns into a shining star.
“Learn from the past to create a better future.”
A day of learning the history and planting for the future. Humans can be cruel and destructive. However, humans can also be gentle and creative. Through the history of men, you can see that many times the evil in men tried to demolish the good in people, but in the end, they always have failed. The only thing that prevails is the good in men, their creativity, and ingeniousness.
“Compassion and Kindness”
The strength of humans is in its ability to be still compassionate and kind when faced with adversity. There is no feeling of competitiveness between the contestants. We seem more like long lost friends than participants competing against each other do. Everybody is happier when they can help each other out than when they must take the center page. World leaders can take a lesson from these women.
“Some angels have wings; others have WHEELS!”
Practice makes perfect. I can only sit there and watch the others dance. I have come to accept that this all that I can physically do and so I have learned to enjoy the little moments to the maximum. I am laughing most of the time. Sometimes I even laugh aloud, I hope that my laughter can help the girls to take their minds off the stress and help them enjoy themselves and the moment.
“Once upon a time in Warsaw.”
My heart is already filled with beautiful memories, and there are still two more days to go. The best is yet to come. I am sure that come Sunday morning my heart will be with so much love that it will be fully inflated like a hot air balloon. I will not need an airplane to take me home.
“One needs to take the path unknown to find herself.”
If I had not challenged myself and faced my fears, I would not have come to know laughter, love and not even life. I am so glad that I decided to travel, to present myself in public and bite through the tears and fears. If I have not done that, I would not have seen the world. I would not have gotten married. I would not have enjoyed my life.
“Heels on wheels.”
The decisive moment is here, the time to ROLL and ROCK the world is now!
Only one contestant will roll off the stage with the crown, but all the contestants will roll off the scene as winners.