I’m uncomfortable with my own discomfort.

February 20, 2010 at 9:59 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I’m an ‘inside the head’ person with disabilities.  That is, I live almost exclusively the life of the mind.

Exercise, or potential athletic ability was never something I wanted to do.  I was pushed, cajoled, begged and in my elementary school, forced into physical activity.  My maternal parent was dissapointed when I refused exersise.

So, I don’t watch the Paralympics, and I’m actively annoyed at their achievements, because on some level I feel as though they are showing me up as a failure within my own community. (Yes, it’s ridiculous, but that’s where my head is.)

I don’t qualify for the Special Olympics, because my impairment is not cognitive.   I don’t think I ever would have qualified for the Paralympics because my main  impairment *is* neurological.  My brain signaling my body to do things could *never* have been quick, even when I was height/weight proportionate. (To be fair, I did create my own brand of slalom, winter or summer, using Canadian crutches and my arms alone to move fairly quickly along the ground…but never fast enough for a Paraathlete.)

I think the thinking part of the brain has taken over some of the function of my damaged cerebelum, even moreso in the past fifteen years since I’m substantially overweight.  I use conscious thought to move.

Oddly, dancing was ok.  It didn’t *look* like able-bodied dancing, but I was steadier on my feet doing that than when I walked.  (Connecting to the language center of my brain for help?  Did my ‘absolute’ pitch musically, help me out? )

But, to get back to athletes with disabilities.  Here is an athlete, Aimee Mullins, who gets it. (h/t to Wheelie Catholic.)

She read the definition of ‘disabled in the dictionary and it blew her away.

I guess those of us who are athletes with disabilities, and those who are simply people with disabilities can have more common ground than I thought.


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