Day 72 – Positives – Followed by a Paralympian

It has been a funny old day, the Weather turned on me this morning and with the torrential downpour it meant using the car and manual wheels. I should have known it was going to be one of those days at that point. I got home and with use of my perching stool started cleaning the oven shelves – well the new ovens are so sparkly and clean I want to keep them that way – very tricky when you live with my wife & son. I give it until Christmas.

This wiped me out so I watched some of the Wright Stuff, my morning guilty pleasure whilst sending some emails for my volunteer group. Will Bayley the Table Tennis Gold Medal winning paralympian was on the show, and he was great to listen to. Any one who watched the paralympics and the Last Leg cannot forget the scenes of him with Jonnie Vegas, or standing on the Table Tennis table, getting a Yellow Card and hugging the referee. The biggest thing I loved today was Will’s own honesty about sport and being disabled. The context was surrounding an advert that ran during the paralympics and the sexual connotations of it. I like many others found if funny, if for no other reason than my mates have taken the p!ss out of me with regards to going into spasm and what I could do.

During the discussion Will said something that really resonated with me, and that was that he was an athlete he trains hard and long and he wants to be recognised as an athlete. This is something that people seem to forget in between the games because disability sport isn’t shown regularly enough on TV, disabled people are under-represented on TV full stop. He has overcome a lot in his life, but in his own words he doesn’t want to hear “aww bless, good on him for getting out there” he wants to hear what a great TT match he has been in. He also wants people to be honest and say well that was cr@p if a standard was cr@p. It resonated with me because as a disabled person I feel as though public and my life is defined by my disability, not personality, or what I can do but by what I can’t. For me living with chronic pain makes exercise difficult and having at 18 been a personal and circuits trainer I never visioned me being unfit, but here I am. I push myself everyday to do little things like washing up, hydrotherapy and small things. I’d love to be able to push myself further but my disability doesn’t allow me to do this, it doesn’t mean I am not pushing myself hard, it just means to a different level. Not every disabled person can be a paralympian just like not every non disabled person is an olympian. We are human beings, who lead our lives as best as everyone else tries to lead theirs, and I wish we lived in a world without labels but we don’t.

After another go at cleaning some more I had to go and pick my LG up. This afternoon the consequence of my mornings exercise was crashing and sleeping. My bodies way of telling I did too much, you have no idea how frustrating spoon shortage is to a spoonie, and how desperately I wish I could do more. I missed some important calls and more importantly some time playing with my LG through about 45 minutes housework and two trips on the school run. People do not see the crash outside of my family and friends and I prefer to keep it that way, and I do not share it today because I want sympathy, I share it because we all have ability. We all can do positive things, we all have low points, and we all need support from others around us. Why are these ramblings a positive, well after enjoying the show I tweeted Will Bayley, and not only did he like the tweet he is now following my twitter account. A gold medal winning athlete, it doesn’t get more positive than that on an otherwise cold, wet and dark day.

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