Tell Me A Story

January 18, 2011

Everyone has a story. Stories are to be told to allow people into their lives and which will let others see the world through their eyes…and hopefully something will be learned from the story.

My life like most has had it’s ups and downs and just because I have a disability my story isn’t anymore compelling than the non disabled. People may be more interested in it just because they want to know what it is like to have a disability.

I think a lot of times the phrase “because I/he has a disability” is used. Sure, having it plays a big part in my life but I don’t think it should be the defining part in my life story.

Like I said earlier, everyone has a story but I think those with disabilities have stories people want to hear. As a result, I think we have an obligation to tell our stories to educate the non disabled and to hopefully let the world know we are “okay”.

I am glad I have the ability to tell my story and I encourage others to tell their story/listen to others. I would be willing to bet you’ll get something out of it.

Running with Blinders

January 3, 2011

In middle school basketball, we wore blinders [plastic semi circles that stuck out under your eye to prevent you from looking at your hands when you dribble] and one time we were doing drills in the halls. We were dribbling with two balls down one end and back. Where we started there were two water fountains. Coming back I was looking down and form tackled the water fountain. I remember it knocked it way out of the wall and gave me a nasty shoulder bruise. We never practiced in the halls again.

That happened in the 7th grade I think. Unknown to me it was the last year of my athletic career. I was diagnosed with dystonia the spring before and although the symptoms hadn’t progressed to really even notice the coaches knew and didn’t want me to get ‘hurt’ so I was demoted to manager status the next year.

Fast forward to the end of my college career when my symptoms were much like they are now and I began running. I started off slow and not very far but in a few months I was running around the town and  racing. By the time I graduated I had raced every race possible from a mile to a half marathon.

Standing still people can see I have something going on but when I run its not as easy to. The other day after running five miles a girl came up from behind me [I had stopped running] and was trying to make conversation. I was out of breath and not really wanting to talk and I awkwardly went for the water and she finished her walk/jog.

Living here people I run across are generally progressive and take me for what I am. However there are always those people who don’t want to because of fear or ignorance. They are running with blinders and should be careful for water fountains.