I was a police officer when I was injured.  It's a job that consumes you; I ate, breathed and lived it, and so much of my identity came from being a police officer.  I was injured in the May, and by the following January I was back in work but the wheels were already in motion to discharge me on a medical pension.  I know they were trying to look after me, but it was done in a clumsy way and I was really disappointed.

Instead of getting frustrated I looked at what I could do and how I could reinvent myself.  I definitely like a challenge and I get bored if I stay doing one thing for too long; over the years I've reinvented myself a few times!  I did a sport science diploma and ran my own personal training business, worked for a local authority getting children into sport, trained and worked as an OT both at a Spinal Centre and in the community and then managed a mentoring programme at a charity.

Being disabled is totally irrelevant, it's all about the skills you have.

My latest reinvention is as a bike mechanic.  I've always been into cycling, before my injury on BMX and mountain bikes and then as a hand-cyclist.  I was commuting long distances to work in an office and I was missing out on my young son growing up.  I wanted a way I could look to simplify life a little bit.  Like all cyclists, I had my favourite bike shop and a chance conversation with the owner led to him offering me a job there and then.  When I called my wife to tell her, she wanted to know about the hours, salary and so on, all the details I hadn't been bothered about as I was too excited!

Steve working in a bike shopI've always liked getting my hands dirty, and I like the quick gratification that comes from repairing something, from solving a problem and using your own knowledge to put it right.  Being disabled is totally irrelevant, it's all about the skills you have.  It can be difficult to get a heavy bike up onto the stands and the realities of a busy bike shop is that there is always crap all over the place that can get in the way - but someone will come and give a hand if I holler.

I'm in the right job for me at this time, but who knows when I might fancy another challenge.  It's not always easy, I've had my share of knock backs and you do have to be resilient.  But everything is possible.

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