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Inside/Out with Tom Soper, all-rounder
Kubatana.net
July 19, 2010

Describe yourself in five words?
Prudent yet competitive and adventure loving.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
When in hot water, bath.

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?
Skydiving (tandem), and bridge diving (bungee jumping). Both good hangover cures.

What is your most treasured possession?
My independence, currently in the form of a power wheelchair. My feather pillow.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Self-pity.

Do you have any strange hobbies?
I create and run complicated fantasy leagues for popular sporting events. I currently have 44 entries into my World Cup 2010 league, which I am (suspiciously) winning.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
My posture, caused by my wheelchair's chin control (and my need for control).

What is your greatest extravagance?
Basking in Mushana, glorious winter sunshine.

What have you got in your fridge?
What have I got in my kitchen? I can get away with that answer since my car accident!

What is your greatest fear?
To wake up one day and discover that all of this is real. This applies primarily to my disability but also to the incomprehensible greed that some human beings exhibit and the lengths they go to satiate their desire.

What have you got in your pockets right now?
Zero.

What is your favourite journey?
Canoeing the Zambezi River.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Rob Nairn, magistrate, criminologist, Buddhist teacher, mindfulness advocate and nice guy. Everyone else, who rallied behind me when I needed it most.

When and where were you happiest?
Breakfast with my wife in a turning Msasa forest at the base of Mount Inyangani on a mountain bike ride several years ago.

What's your biggest vice?
Beer.

What were you like at school?
Always the odd one out for some reason or other. Perhaps I didn't like conformity.

What are you doing next?
In terms of anything useful, I am toying with the idea of making some notes on my experience of becoming and being a quadriplegic and reviewing these to establish if lessons learned might be useful to an audience.
In a literal sense, I will be opening a beer in a minute. It's Friday night!

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