World CP Day 2020

“World CP Day is an opportunity for the whole world to come together to recognise and celebrate the 17 million people around the world living with cerebral palsy.

On October 6 every year, individuals, families and organisations celebrate by sharing stories, hosting events, and wearing the color green.”

Source: https://worldcpday.org/about-us/

If I’ve still got your attention, let me briefly elaborate on my purpose of sharing my story. I know that not everyone with a disability has a voice to advocate for themselves, so I’m striving to use my voice in the best way that I can. I know that accessibility is typically not a priority for those who aren’t directly impacted. I’ve experienced first-hand what ableism is and identify that HOW people talk about and to those with disabilities needs to be changed.

If you’re on a personal path that’s committed to opening your mindset and educating yourself on what it’s like to live with a disability or know someone personally with a disability, I appreciate you. You’re taking a positive step in the right direction. With more understanding and compassion, inclusivity and acceptance would be more attainable for the greater good.

If you stumbled across my page, take a few minutes to explore and learn about Cerebral Palsy.

As defined by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “Cerebral Palsy refers to a group of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination. CP is caused by damage to or abnormalities inside the developing brain that disrupt the brain’s ability to control movement and maintain posture and balance. The term cerebral refers to the brain; palsy refers to the loss or impairment of motor function.”

There are varying degrees of CP, and each person who is diagnosed can be affected in different ways on a more (or less) severe scale. While I certainly don’t claim to be a medical expert on the topic, my experience is personal to my story and is in no way meant to be a one-size-fits all representation.

With there being a few different forms of CP, I wanted to go more in depth about the form I have. Birth Injury Guide shares that “Diplegic cerebral palsy is a form of cerebral palsy marked by tense muscles and spasms. Leg muscles in particular tend to be extremely tight, and over time, this causes joints to stiffen, reducing the range of motion. Diplegic CP is considered one of the milder forms of the disorder, and most children’s intelligence and cognitive functions are not severely affected, although they may take longer to reach intellectual milestones.”

I am extremely fortunate to have one of the milder cases of CP. Luckily, I am able to live an independent lifestyle and often times only need assistance in particular instances. I can talk, I can feed myself, I can drive a car, shower by myself and honestly most things a physically-abled person can do. Not to say that I do not need to alter the way some things are done or rely on the help of others to assist with certain tasks. Like, if you need a hot bowl of soup transported from the kitchen to the dining room table – I am NOT your girl. 😉

Overall, I’ll continue to blog about my experiences and share them through social media and appreciate you following along in my journey.

Pre and Post Israel Reflection

3+ years ago I came to this park and went on a walk through the nature trail by myself. Unprepared, in unsupportive sneakers and a GoPro in hand (click and swipe➡️), I set out to walk it in it’s entirety just to prove to myself that I could do it. After some breaks to take a breather, I walked 1.3 miles for the first time consistently in a VERY long time. 💫

What motivated me to challenge myself to this? Well, I was in the process of applying to travel to Israel through Birthright a month before. In my phone interview with the organization, I mentioned that I had a walking disability and asked how accessible the trip was. The interviewer had hesitations and asked if I’d be able to walk by myself, without my scooter, for a couple of miles, since the terrain in some areas was not accessible. I said yes in the moment because I didn’t want to limit my chances of getting approved, but as time inched closer to the trip I was low key panicking. Would I actually be able to do this? Will I be left behind? Will I travel across the country to get stranded in a hotel room the whole time? 🤯.

So, I gave myself the test. I went to the park and just walked. I did it a few times a week leading up to my trip and it truly built my confidence. I was still nervous but I knew I could do it, and if I couldn’t, I opted to have faith that whatever challenges I was faced with on that trip, it would work out.

I came back to this park recently and was flooded with emotion as I reminisced. How so much could change and be accomplished in such a short amount of time. And timed perfectly to #YomKippur it felt kismet to reflect on my trip to #Israel. Can’t wait to share more about my trip with you!

Take Control Of Your Fears

This month I’ve been learning new ways to adjust my mindset in how I approach each physical activity I do. In a way that allows me to chip away at my recently self-identified fear of falling. I realized that I carry that fear with me now more than I ever have, so I’m working on building my confidence in that area because I believe so much of my fears are due to me psyching out myself and my abilities. Although I’m sure my random tumbles definitely play a part in my fear. 😋

But for example, I’ve been thoughtfully walking slower and aiming to control my “stops” rather than finding the nearest wall to use as an aid to stop the momentum I’ve built up. I’m hoping that with enough repetition over a few months this way of thinking will be more natural. 🌱

Took The Leap – Physical Therapy

Tonight I went to physical therapy for #cerebralpalsy for the first time since middle school!! Y E S it was physically challenging and I have so much to improve on and strengthen, but I was so happy to be in that atmosphere! no one made me do it, I went by sole choice and the feeling of commitment and excitement for this new challenge is something I haven’t felt in a long time.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been social distancing for too long or maybe it’s because I finally decided to take the leap. but I think true #adulting is when you realize you need to prioritize your health – whether that be mental or physical – and the space I’m in now is all about diving into both of those categories.

STEPtember 2020

If you’ve been following on my fitness journey you know that…. there is none. I had a mini “workout” kick back in May but since then I’ve dropped off because #life. BUT, I’ve been doing some small things recently to get active and have been wanting to do something that would hold me accountable to getting active on a more consistent basis.

As we approach a new month, *insert OMG I can’t believe it’s almost September quote here*, I figured what better time than the first of the month to kick off something BIG. Then, I stumbled upon something that made me realize there’s no such thing as a coincidence.

Introducing STEPtember: to be honest an initiative I haven’t heard of until recently as I began to fully delve inside the Cerebral Palsy (CP) community on the internet and through social media. STEPtember is all about being active. Whether it may be by walking, running, wheeling, stretching, or whatever being active is to you, its purpose is to be a fun, safe and virtual (#2020) environment where you challenge yourself to move the equivalent of 10,000 steps a day for 28 days. STEPtember welcomes everyone, of all fitness levels and all abilities. So most likely, you reading this fit the bill to join in on the fun.

What’s the connection for me with STEPtember? That’s the part I’m most excited about. Every step you take and every dollar you raise will help fund the world’s most innovative researchers as they uncover what’s possible for Cerebral Palsy. The older I get, the more I realize there’s a lot to know about having CP as a child out there (there’s certainly room to grow though because in my experience the doctors don’t know how I got it) but as an adult with CP, the resources are lackluster. In my experience, at least.

Research influences change and answers that can impact the lives of so so many. All that said, I’m asking my loved ones and those following me on social media to join in on the fun. Let’s hold each other accountable throughout the month of September and stay active! Whether it’s 10 minutes of dancing in your home, going on a chill walk, climbing a mountain, stretching, etc., WHATEVER it may be – let’s do it together! If you choose to officially participate or not I’ll appreciate any and all of the support I can garner. At the very least I’ll be posting to my Instagram story for what each day’s “active” activity is.

UPDATE ON HOW TO JOIN:

Thank you again for supporting STEPtember! If you’d like to join me in the challenge to get active, you can register at the following link as an “individual”. It will ask if you are joining an organization. Say yes and type “(C) Bear With Me” so you can join alongside with me! Then fill out the rest of the registration. https://www.steptember.us/register/us/adult-individual

If you don’t want to participate in the challenge, but want to support, feel free to make a donation to my fundraising page here: https://www.steptember.us/fundraisers/cbearwithme

Either way, I hope you follow along on social media! Make sure to tag me @cbear143 and use the hashtag #CBEARwithmeforCP to share! You can also track your workouts by linking your smart watch through the STEPtember app! Thank you!!! 

Sunday’s Are For Self Care

Sunday’s are for #selfcare! Well, everyday should have some aspect of self care involved but I know that’s easier said than done because life gets ~crazy. 🌀

Social distancing has made us all look inward and figure out new, simple ways to navigate through stressful situations and anxiety. We haven’t been able to go to our regular fitness classes, scream our hearts out at concerts or hang out with friends. The things that typically help us release and reset. It’s been a hard adjustment to say the least, but it’s my hope that through these challenging times we’ve been able to recognize the importance of mental health and figuring out ways to cope with stress and related side effects.

One thing I’ve been doing to reduce screen time and break away from my computer or phone is coloring! There’s so many cute adult coloring books out there, and working through the super intricate details helps me to slow down my thoughts while being #offline. I’ve been testing out some new things over the past several months & am interested to hear what techniques you’ve been implementing into your routines.. let me know!

#MentalHealth is important, and by having open conversations about it should be one positive that comes out of this pandemic.

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⁣Sunday’s are for #selfcare! Well, everyday should have some aspect of self care involved but I know that’s easier said than done because life gets ~crazy. 🌀 ⠀ Social distancing has made us all look inward and figure out new, simple ways to navigate through stressful situations and anxiety. We haven’t been able to go to our regular fitness classes, scream our hearts out at concerts or hang out with friends. The things that typically help us release and reset. It’s been a hard adjustment to say the least, but it’s my hope that through these challenging times we’ve been able to recognize the importance of mental health and figuring out ways to cope with stress and related side effects. ⠀ ⠀ One thing I’ve been doing to reduce screen time and break away from my computer or phone is coloring! There’s so many cute adult coloring books out there, and working through the super intricate details helps me to slow down my thoughts while being #offline. I’ve been testing out some new things over the past several months & am interested to hear what techniques you’ve been implementing into your routines.. lmk!⠀ ⠀ #MentalHealth is important, and by having open conversations about it should be one positive that comes out of this pandemic. ✨⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⁣#vulnerability #mentalhealth #selflove #selfcare #blogger ⁣#inclusivity #cerebralpalsy #disability #equality #blogger #inclusion #positivity #loveyourself #mentalhealthmatters #inspiration #wellness #NationalColoringBookDay #anxietyrelief #anxiety #mentalhealthawareness #socialdistancing

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Disability Pride Month – July 2020

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⁣PSA: July is Disability Pride Month! So in total Chelsea fashion, I procrastinated posting until the very last day. 🙃⠀ ⠀ The topic has been heavy on my mind all month though. Like, what does disability pride actually mean to ME? Well, I have to admit my relationship with myself and my disability has evolved over the years. And in my opinion, in the best way possible. ✨⠀ ⠀ Anyone who has known me for awhile, knows that I’ve always been open to answering any questions about my disability when approached. BUT, was I ever the first person to address the elephant in the room about what my disability is? Nope. But that’s clearly changed and now I’m openly talking about what it’s like having CP through my lens – solely because I’ve learned to own my disability outwardly. I’ve always embraced the positive impacts CP has had on my life, and now I’m proud to take it one step further by vocalizing all that it entails! 🎉⠀ ⠀ Take this pic for example, when I originally posted a photo from this night I opted to post an image of myself standing and leaning on a pole for balance. Now I’m happy to share a picture of myself sitting on scootz for #DisabilityPrideMonth as I reflect on all of the adventures I’ve been able to go on despite my “limitations”! 👩🏻‍🦼⠀ ⠀ ‼️Side note: out of pure curiosity – if we’ve known each other for 3+ years please drop a 💚 or 🙃 emoji in the comments if you didn’t know much about CP until I started posting about it more! Genuinely interested as I continue on this vulnerable journey. Thanks friends for reading and happy disability pride month!!!!⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⁣#ada30 #inclusivity #cerebralpalsy #disability #disabilityawareness #equality #disabilityjustice #disabilitypride #accessibility #ada #blogger #selflove #inclusion #cerebralpalsyawareness #travel #positivity #browardcounty #travelblogger #mentalhealth #accessibilityforall #vulnerability #loveyourself

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PSA: July is Disability Pride Month! So in total Chelsea fashion, I procrastinated posting until the very last day. 🙃

The topic has been heavy on my mind all month though. Like, what does disability pride actually mean to ME? Well, I have to admit my relationship with myself and my disability has evolved over the years. And in my opinion, in the best way possible. ✨

Anyone who has known me for awhile, knows that I’ve always been open to answering any questions about my disability when approached. BUT, was I ever the first person to address the elephant in the room about what my disability is? Nope. But that’s clearly changed and now I’m openly talking about what it’s like having CP through my lens – solely because I’ve learned to own my disability outwardly. I’ve always embraced the positive impacts CP has had on my life, and now I’m proud to take it one step further by vocalizing all that it entails! 🎉

Take this pic for example, when I originally posted a photo from this night I opted to post an image of myself standing and leaning on a pole for balance. Now I’m happy to share a picture of myself sitting on scootz for #DisabilityPrideMonth as I reflect on all of the adventures I’ve been able to go on despite my “limitations”!

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 30th Anniversary

I used to be ashamed of this symbol. Now I embrace it, and all of the princess parking that follows. 💁🏻‍♀️

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990, and today marks its 30th anniversary. It’s certainly a day of celebration🎉, but also a day for reflection.🤔

“The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.” – ADA National Network

Reading this, I can’t believe that only three decades ago, people with disabilities (some of whom were born with one🙋🏻‍♀️) were legally deemed as “equal” amongst their peers! In that same breath, I’m so grateful that this act was signed a couple of years before I was born, leaving my personal experiences to solely be life post-ADA. I’ve been granted so many experiences that I’m thankful for, and we’ve come so far with making changes in the right direction, but it’s important to recognize the strides we have yet to take. I live them every day. & I know that individuals with disabilities are certainly not the only minority fighting for changes that are so so so far overdue! I’ll continue to advocate for inclusivity and equality as I share both my struggles and celebrations in an effort to create awareness and inspire change.

Cheers to thirty years, and here’s to the future. 💚

2020-2021 Aerie Ambassador

Real. Empowering. Honest. Fun. Smart. Inspiring. Sexy. Kind. Diverse. Game Changer. Strong.

These words not only define the brand identity of the clothing company Aerie, but also words that I strive to live up to in my own life. I share my personal story about living with a disability in an effort to embrace myself as I am in hopes of inspiring others to do the same. So, as you can imagine, I’m a HUGE supporter of the Aerie brand and what they stand for as a company.

Now, more than ever, it’s so important to advocate for and invest in company’s that stand for and align with what you believe in. For me, that’s inclusivity! Aerie has been a pioneer within the body positivity and inclusivity movement for YEARS. In 2014 the brand was among the first to stop retouching models and through #AerieREAL pledged to highlight real women in its campaigns.

All that said, I’m SO EXCITED to finally announce that I have been selected as one of 125 women across the United States and Canada to represent this incredible ~and comfy~ brand as a 2020-2021 #AerieAmbassador!!! I can’t put into words how much I’m looking forward to all that I’ll experience over the next year.

It’s an honor to be part of a campaign that is committed to no retouching – because in my opinion – being authentic on social media is just as important as it is to be authentic in person. Over the next year, I’ll be sharing posts on my Instagram to feature my favorite new arrivals, how the #AerieReal campaign aligns with my lifestyle, collaborating with so many inspiring women through the ambassador program, and so much more. Extremely grateful for the opportunity and thrilled for what’s to come! 

Follow me on Instagram to stay in touch!



May 27, 2020 – Epiphany

Today an old memory popped in my head from college. I couldn’t remember how a certain situation played out. Like completely could not even pull it from the depths of my mind for some odd reason. So I reached out to my friends to remind me of the outcome.

Through this quick convo, a small flicker of emotion surfaced and brought me back to how I felt during this experience. But it wasn’t as fresh, wasn’t as upsetting, and the memory was still blurry and faded, as if it barely impacted me when I KNOW it did so heavily in the moment.

This was a reality check that I needed. It reminded me that for some situations, the problems I may be facing today won’t be top of mind five years from now. They won’t be the blueprint for my future. What will, though, is opting to put my best foot forward and approaching each situation with a positive attitude, and believe that the rest will work itself out.

& I hope this short story/reflection helps others remember this too. ♥️