Kim McAndrew of In Plain Sight Style was worried about what her son and her boyfriend would think. She worried that people would judge her harshly and criticize her. Meanwhile, she couldn't enjoy her Disneyland pass or cosplaying with her son because she was in so much pain. So. Much. Pain. Then, she stopped judging herself, changed her mindset and got confident about her choice. It changed everything and Kim never looked back.
The decision to buy a mobility scooter to get you around can be a difficult one. It was for Kim. But once she realized what a difference a mobility scooter could make in her life, she was onboard. She could get back to traveling, riding rides, cosplaying and spending the whole day with her boyfriend and son, rather than quitting before the day had even begun. Her knee pain had held her back for years, but those days were over once she bought a scooter.
This is my Facebook Live interview with Kim. I've pulled highlights from the interview for this blog post. Watch the Facebook video to hear everything she has to say about deciding to get a portable scooter.
Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. You can read my full policy here.
2:17 Kim McAndrew Introduction
“I'm Kim McAndrew and I have a blog with my son Benji. It's called In Plain Sight Style and it's a geek lifestyles blog, cosplay blog, everyday cosplay, bounding. We've really been getting into Disney bounding, pin up or dapper vintage styles lately. So we've been focusing a lot on that and we just really wanted to create something where we shared our adventures. But we also live by example and promote positivity and confidence, no matter what kind of style you're into, what weight you are, if you're short, if you're tall… you can do pretty much whatever you want with fashion if you just have the right resources and really believe in yourself.”
5:01 Disney Dapper Day
“We did Robin Hood and Little John dapper versions. [My son was] Robin and I was a Little John. We had been wanting to do some kind of a cosplay because that's our favorite Disney movie. We wanted to do that for the longest time. So, we were like dapper day, this'll be perfect. We went crazy and I glued fox ears onto a newsboy cap and made cosplay things.”
6:34 Galaxy's Edge
“I love Galaxy's Edge. I have not been on Rise of the Resistance yet because, right now, if you've seen any of the YouTube videos, you have to be there at five or six in the morning to get in line to get your ticket scanned by eight. Then you have to be in a good place so the internet doesn't freeze up so you can get a boarding pass. Then you have to stay there all day and wait for your boarding group to be called. So, it's crazy right now.
“The parks aren't going anywhere, so I will ride it eventually. But we love Galaxy's Edge. It's really just a nerd heaven because it's turning into… It started out as just a theme park and people were like, well, there's only one ride and there's not that much to do. Now it's turning into a meetup place. People are meeting up there and having different events. I saw there's a new group; it's a droid customization group and they have meetups. They brought their droids and took pictures in front of the Falcon with their customized droids. And so it's really neat. It's turning into a community and a place to go hang out with nerds during the day. It's not really so much about riding the rides, it's just about coming up with different looks. Are you going to dress more as a rebel? It's like a permanent convention. It's there always whenever you need it. Whenever you need to get a fix, you can go.”
9:56 Deciding to Buy a Scooter
“Basically my right knee is completely shot. I have arthritis in it. It's really terrible. Many, many doctors [have said], you're really kinda young to get a knee replacement but you're eventually going to have to get one… I kept going and saying, I'm in pain, I'm in a lot of pain here. It's not just discomfort. I'm starting to change my life where I'm not going out anymore. I wasn't spending time with friends. If somebody said, Hey, we're going to go to the mall. I'd be like, I can't go cause I can't walk. So I would hold everybody up. So I started spending more and more time at home and it was really, really starting to get to me.
“I would gear myself up to go to Disneyland, but I would spend the whole day in pain. And finally Benji was just like, Oh my God, mom, just get a cart already. And I just had such a hangup about it. It was like I was officially declaring that I was old and used. I felt that that way. There's so much stigma around it. And I think where it comes from, for me, is I used to work at Disney World many years ago and we had annual pass holders who had their carts and they had their annual passes and they think they didn't have to wait in line for anything. There was a real sense of entitlement and just kind of a jerk nature about them.
“And I was like, I don't want to be seen as one of these people. And just realizing that you aren't one of those people. That you really do need this. I just reluctantly said, right, fine, I'm going to get a cart. I got a cart. Go to Disneyland, get in the cart. And I feel like everybody's watching me, when I know and nobody cares. I got through bag check and got on the tram and realized I would already be looking for the next place where I got to sit down. But now that I'm on the cart, I'm like, I'm good to go for like 13 hours. Let's do this! And I had an amazing time instead of saying, no, no, you guys go do the thing. I'm going to stay here on this bench and I'll just watch our stuff while you go ride a ride or something. Instead I'm like, no, let's go do this thing and let's go do that thing. And I think I wore my kid out quite frankly. So it's, it's turned into… You get over that embarrassment and that stigma real fast when you don't have excruciating pain anymore. It's like, fine, stare at me. I don't care. I'm not in pain.”
16:26 Having a Mobility Scooter at Disneyland
“First of all, the [Disneyland] cast members are really great, because you just go up to them and go, I'm traveling on this [portable scooter] today. How do I get into this ride? And they're always like, just go here. I got a foldable scooter because I have a small car. I don't have a really big SUV or anything. So putting it on a trailer on the back of my car just to cart this thing around was going to be kind of ridiculous. I found one that folds and it fits in the trunk of my car and it's pretty awesome. I just take it out and just unfold it and away we go.
“Once you get into the park, there's a few things that you can't take it on. The Disneyland railroad, it's all stairs so you can't take it. If you want to ride the train, you just have to park it somewhere and then you do the full circle and come back to it. That solves that problem. And when you go to other rides, like Pirates [of the Caribbean] is my favorite ride, so we always have to go. You basically go to the exit and they give you a return time to come back. Then they bring you in the out door, so that you pull right up to the loading dock and then you get on that way. But there are some rides, like The Smugglers Run and the Millennium Falcon Fly… When you're piloting that, you just take your scooter into the line with everybody else.”
20:07 Getting Over Scooter Embarrassment
“Yes, I would [think about getting a mobility scooter]. I would just look at people buzzing by and I would just go, I should really. Then I'm like, nope, nope, I'm good. I'm fine. I'll take some Aleve and I'll be fine. And I just wouldn't do it. And then finally, [my son] had a scooter intervention with me. He said, mom, just get a scooter. And my boyfriend was the same thing. He was like, just get the scooter. And I said, you guys, won't you be embarrassed to like be hanging out with me on a scooter? And [my boyfriend] was like, no, I want you to have fun and I want to be able to go more places with you, so I want you to get it. So I did! And it's been great ever since.”
22:13 Is the Scooter Portable?
“You can take it onto the plane and roll down the jetway. Then fold it and they put it under the plane for you.
“We found out how long the battery lasts. When it goes into the yellow, it drains very quickly. We found that out the hard way one day. But the good thing about it is that you can fold it manually if it does run out of battery, and you can actually roll it like a suitcase.”
24:36 No One's Watching You
Kim told the best story about her insecurities during a CrossFit workout. Here's just a snippet. You should really watch the video and hear the whole story.
“…so I'm running around this parking lot, just doing my absolute best, but I'm not going very fast. I almost just burst into tears because I thought, everybody is back there having to do a million more pushups because they're waiting for me and they hate me and I'm never coming back. I got back and at the end of class, I walked up to the trainer and I said, I think maybe I should do private lessons for awhile. And he said, why do you think that? And I told him, everybody today was having to wait for my slow ass to run around the track. They probably all hate me now.
“And he said, okay, let me ask you two questions. Then we'll start setting up private training for you, if you still want to do it. He said, first, how many sit-ups did you do today? And I said, I can't remember how much it was. I'll say it was 30. And he goes, okay, great. He goes, how many did David do? And I went, um, I don't know. And he's like, exactly. You're wrapped up in your own shit. You weren't paying attention to what David's doing. He said, if I go over to David and ask him how many sit ups you did, he's not going to know how many. Smart man. He goes, nobody cares. He goes — I don't mean that in a careless or mean way — nobody cares. They're wrapped up in their training and their stuff.
“So, when I'm at Disneyland and I'm going and doing my thing. yeah, maybe somebody will look at me and go, she's not old. She's just plus size. And that's why she's too lazy to walk. And that's why she's on that scooter. You know what? They're not right. But I bet I'm not even going to know they're judging me because I'm too busy having a chiro and not giving a shit.”
30:46 Does Insurance Cover Mobility Scooters?
“[My budget] took a hit, but at the same time, I feel like I've gotten more than my money's worth out of it already. And I've only had it for about six months. I've just gone freaking everywhere in this thing… I put it in with my insurance. They covered a little bit of it. Yes, it was expensive, but I feel like, I've gotten more than my money's worth out of it.”