#CPChatNow Recap: Paralympics Focus Chat

After nearly a two-year absence, a big return arrived to the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020. Focus chats! I, co-host Zachary Fenell, am here to tell you more. Get ready for your weekly recap!

A concept originally suggested by community pillar Jorge Oteiza, focus chats center around a particular subject. The Paralympics remained the topic at hand January 22nd. To lead the discussion we welcomed past chat participant and 2016 Paralympian Ayden Jent.

2016 Paralympian Ayden Jent joined #CPChatNow Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 to answer our questions about the Paralympics.

Prior to discussing the Paralympics, we asked Ayden some questions about his athletic background.

Devin asks Ayden what inspired Ayden to start running.
Zachary asks Ayden how long Ayden had to work before being able to reach the Paralympic level of competition.

My co-host Devin Axtman asked Ayden about what inspired him to start running. Ayden explained his initial interest came from both his parents running in college. That interest reached another level when he began joining his step-father on runs.

Meanwhile I asked Ayden how long he had to work before reaching competition at the national level. “All my life” Ayden answered in-part, adding wearing braces, casts, physical therapy, and botox injections all helped prepare him to get to that point.

Within his answer to me, Ayden also mentioned stumbling upon the Paralympics. After a follow-up question, Ayden clarified he discovered the Paralympics when he came across a Youtube video featuring a fellow runner with CP named Michael Mckillop. Thankfully Paralympic awareness seems to continue increasing, at least according to Ayden.

Zachary asks Ayden if he finds people often confuse the Paralympics with the Special Olympics.

Ayden addressed knowledge about the Paralympics’ existence when I asked if he finds people often confuse the Paralympics with the Special Olympics. Alongside three crying with laughter emojis, Ayden replied “All the time!!!!” However, Ayden showed an optimistic outlook saying commercials and the United States Olympic Committee changing their name to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee enables more people to realize the two games are different.

Elsewhere in the conversation Devin asked about the classification system the Paralympics use.

Ayden explains the classification system the Paralympics use.

While too late to get in a question for our Paralympics focus chat, you could still try tweeting Ayden on your own. He did express enjoyment in answering our questions.

Ayden enjoyed answering #CPChatNow's questions.

Looking ahead, who else would you like to see #CPChatNow host a Q & A with? Actually, that sounds like a great extend-the-conversation question! Make sure to answer below. “Who would you like to see #CPChatNow host a Q & A with?”

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "Who would you like to see #CPChatNow host a Q & A with?"

Your answers will help us plan the best possible focus chats!

Until next time, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!



#CPChatNow Recap- 1-15-2020

This past week in #CPChatNow was bouncing as always. Members talked about what they are reading and what gifts CP has given them. Also, we have a focus chat on 1/22! This is #CPChatNow co-host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the recap.

First, we have an exciting announcement at #CPChatNow. We will be doing a focus chat with member and former Paralympian, Ayden “The Jet” Jent. You can read Ayden’s bio here.

Zach announces a focus chat on 1/22 with Ayden Jent about the Paralympics

Next, Zach asked members what they are currently reading. Members shared a variety of different books and Chris shared Haben Girma’s memoir, the story of a deafblind woman graduating from Harvard Law School and becoming a lawyer for disability rights.

zach asked what people are currently reading. blemi tweeted Nora & Kettle, chris tweeted she is meaning to read Haben Girma's memoir

I bring up reading because in more exciting news #CPChatNow co-host, Zachary Fenell, is going to release his book, Off Balanced, in paperback! You can buy it now in Kindle form here.

Zach announcing Off Balanced is soon to be available in paperback. There is a picture of him holding up the book

Finally, we move to a great question asked by Blemi. She asked what Cerebral Palsy had given people. Members shared a variety of different positives which illustrates the wide variety of experiences in disability.

blemi asked what cp has given people. zach credits his work ethic to cp and to listen to his body, along with a BS filter. i tweeted I do not get too high or too low.
Daryl Perry tweets CP has made him resilient, robyn tweeted resilience and ability to adapt along grip strength. jen tweeted empathy.

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question: What do you like about your CP?

an orange, blue, and green #CPChatNow logo in the upper right hand corner, extend-the-conversation question in green with what do you like about your CP? in black. The Facebook like button is in the lower left hand corner.

Please share your answers in the comments and join us for the focus chat on Wednesday, January 22nd at 8 Eastern.


#CPChatNow Recap- 01-08-2020

With the holidays over, we in the #CPChatNow community resumed our regular Wednesday evening schedule January 8th, 2020. To tell you more about the January 8th Twitter chat, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Regular readers will know exactly how I plan to do this. Your weekly recap!

Over the years we within #CPChatNow have enjoyed a few laughs together. A trend which continues chugging along!

Time cannot derail #CPChatNow's train joke.

My co-host, Devin Axtman, arrived to the chat late because his bus was late to his train. All because the bus ended up stuck behind another train!

Although, the humor does not lay in Devin’s predicament. Rather, the fact Devin’s story involves trains creates the humorous tone. Early in #CPChatNow’s existence Hannah shared a funny story which included a train reference. Ever since simply mentioning trains invokes chuckles from our community’s long-time regulars.

Such a re-occurring joke helped us build a communal feel. Another pillar which allowed us to build our community returns in 2020.

Zachary teases the return of focus chats.

As I shared January 8th, this year will see focus chats return! I noted Devin and I should be ready to announce our first focus chat of the year next week (January 15th). Happily, I am able to confirm we will make this announcement during the January 15th chat. Make sure to join us then!

Also, to ensure we deliver focus chats which interest you, answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What topics would you like to see focus chats on?” Answer by leaving a reply in the “Comments” section. Your feedback proves vital towards maximizing focus chats’ value.

Perhaps a possible focus chat topic could entail the positives and negatives social media offers the cerebral palsy community. A topic briefly touched upon January 8th.

#CPChatNow participants discuss Twitter regrets.

Curious, I asked participants if they ever regretted posting something to Twitter. Devin replied affirmatively, saying he regrets getting into certain political arguments. His regrets deal less with what he said and more just feeling like the discussions ended up pointless.

Meanwhile Hannah made the insightful point that everyone probably regrets posting something. She continued, noting there are in-person conversations she regrets having too. Quite the relatable sentiment, or so I think.

Anyways, enough about what I think. What do you think would make for a good focus chat in 2020? Remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “What topics would you like to see focus chats on?”

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "What topics would you like to see focus chats on?"

Reply below to answer. Afterwards make your plans to join #CPChatNow each and every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET.

Until then, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!


#CPChatNow- 1/2/2020

The first #CPChatNow of the new decade was bumping as always. Members discussed what they hoped to accomplish in 2020, projects they are currently working on, and the realities of being an introvert on World Introvert Day. This is #CPChatNow Co-Host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the ride on this week’s recap.

First, members discussed what they hoped to accomplish in 2020:

Zach asks what members hope to accomplish in 2020. Blemi tweets about paying off her line of credit. Zach tweets about paying off his student loans.
Zach tweets he will be publishing his marathon memoir and he has a title in mind

Zach also asked what word members would use to describe their 2020 on December 31st, 2020 and said he will describe his year as extraordinary:

Zach tweets he will look back on the year and describe it as extraordinary

Finally, January 2nd was apparently World Introvert Day. Zach pointed this out and it sparked a discussion on being an introvert.

Zach points out it is world introvert day and asks if people would describe themselves as an introvert
Blemi tweets she feels she is an introvert and experiences anxiety in social situations
linds tweets she is an extroverted when necessary introvert and she used the example of working at a bakery causing her to need her to be introverted

This leads us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question:

Orange, blue, and green #CPChatNow logo in the upper right hand corner. Extend-the-conversation question in green: Do you consider yourself an introvert? in black. An emoji with blue eyes and a zipper over his mouth.

Thank you for reading and join us each Wednesday at 8 Eastern at #CPChatNow on Twitter.


#CPChatNow Recap- 12-26-2019

Christmas 2019 came and went Wednesday, December 25th, but the celebratory mood continued into the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Thursday, December 26th. To officially close out the year for our community, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Recapping the year’s 52nd and final chat seems the most fitting way to do this.

Long-time chat regular, “The Positivity Princess,” Linds helped to get the dialogue off to a cheery start.

Linds shares her exciting news!

After three years patiently waiting, Linds received her “most longtime coming gift.” A paralegal job in Cedar Rapids! Once again, congratulations Linds!

Keeping the conversation personal, participants reflected on their respective 2019s.

Participants in #CPChatNow describe their 2019s in one word.

I asked people to describe their 2019 in one word. My co-host Devin Axtman answered, saying “transformative.” Devin further explained his choice in words saying 2019 saw him enjoy “lots of good life changes.” Unfortunately, not everyone could say the same.

Hannah honestly describes her 2019 as "heartbreaking."

Beloved community member Hannah replied honestly, saying she would describe 2019 as “heartbreaking.” The year brought “a downward spiral of bad things” not just for Hannah but the people she loves. At the same time, Hannah acknowledged throughout the year she did enjoy “some pretty spectacular moments.” Moments she will never forget.

Looking to keep the dialogue positive, allow me to ask as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “On December 31st, 2020 when you look back on your year, what word will you use to describe it?” Reply to this post to answer.

First though, let us finish seeing off 2019. Besides personal matters, our community conducted a year in review for cerebral palsy in general.

The #CPChatNow community recalls their most memorable cerebral palsy related stories of 2019.

Participants recalled memorable cerebral palsy related stories. Personally, I named a negative remembering Speechless‘ cancellation. Thankfully other community members offered positive memories. Jeni mentioned the little boys with CP who tag-teamed the role Tiny Tim in a Broadway production of A Christmas Carol. Meanwhile long-time chat regular Blemi highlighted Netflix’s new series Special.

Hopefully stories like the ones Jeni and Blemi reference foreshadow greater progress for the cerebral palsy community in 2020. Remember to forecast your own 2020 by answering the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “On December 31st, 2020 when you look back on your year, what word will you use to describe it?”

This week's extend-the-conversation questions asks on December 31st, 2020 when you look back on your year, what word will you use to describe it?

Answer below! Then help us kick off the New Year by joining our first #CPChatNow in 2020 Thursday, January 2nd at 8pm ET.

Until then, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!