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Friday, October 5, 2012

If I’m going to share positive messages regarding disability and accomplishments, I think I should share the other side at times. ...

Yesterday, fears got in the way of participating in a bike ride I wanted to attend. Plans to go with family fell through, and I was hesitant to drive a new road, drive home at night from the city, and wasn’t sure if I’d end up cycling alone (only because I hadn’t planned ahead and didn’t want to take someone else at the ride away from their original plan at the last minute). This week I have been working a lot on the book I’m attempting to self-publish called I’m Not Here to Inspire You, and thinking a lot about the teens and young adults with physical disabilities I especially hope will read it. As a kid, and even now, it would really piss me off when I let things like this happen. Of course, my mom and some others would tell me not to worry, it happens to everyone, etc. And they’re right, it does happen to everyone and you just have to move on. But there was always something about letting fears like this get in my way that bothered me. It felt different. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I think the difference was that the people trying to encourage me weren’t disabled, so I felt like they didn’t specifically know what I was feeling. I could be completely wrong. But this is one of those things I think people with disabilities need to talk about more. I don’t know that anyone without a physical disability can truly feel the anxiety someone with a disability might feel going into a situation without being sure you have a grasp on everything you might need to do physically. Of course, plenty of people with disabilities can just plow ahead. We are as different individually as any group of people. I’m working on an essay in which I hope to introduce a hashtag for readers, especially those with disabilities, to communicate about their workouts. Something specific for us that says, keep going, keep pushing. It’s a message I think we all need to hear sometimes, maybe especially on days when we didn’t push.

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