...quiet, about a lot of things...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

So, As Usual..

I blew off yet another goal..Skipped a couple of days of poetry. I suck at set goals.
Admitting this, has effectively shut my creative valves. Failure, even on random goals, is hard. Highlights downfalls. Mine being first and foremost, highly destractable..lazy..and quasi depressed. The joy, oh the joy, of self discovery.
But it's time to bounce. Get back up. Start again.
The prompt today isFriendship at Writers Island.

I spent the whole weekend with some people that could be my friends. The Olympic/Paralympic training facility was really more impressive than I could have imagined.I do feel that when I am with these other athletes, I am among my peers.

What a motley crew we are!! We all sport different disabilities. We span the gamut between 15 to 60ish in age..Some are in chairs, some are not.With out a sign of introduction, it may be hard to tell how we all fit together. I noticed this in the "general public" faces as we went to get a drink after workouts..or traveled in a pack in the airport. The public at large is clearly not prepared for a posse of disabled people hanging together. One by one, with our able bodied friends, and families, we blend more. As a herd, we are somewhat of an attraction.

I was amazed with how many questions we DID NOT get. No one asked anything..though some in our group have the annoying habit of wearing stuff that says USA all over it.
There were no questions about our "Team", outside the facility. I found this odd. Generally, if a group of people wearing similar clothing, say hats or jerseys came into a restaurant...the hostess or waitress probably would ask a question or two about the team. Nothing.

I don't think they knew what to ask. So instead, there was a lot of staring. I have always hated to be looked at. It is what makes me very shy. This weekend, one was forced to get used to it. I found myself getting more and more protective of those in my party. Watching their backs. Challenging gazes. Returning stares.

However,the trainers at the host facility were phenomenal. I have never seen so many creative solutions to problems, willingness to listen, belief in excellence.

They trained our butts off.. No slack..3 times a day..Cardio,endurance..circuit...I kayaked with other CP friend. I hadn't laughed that hard in a while. I strapped my self into a hockey sled, used by paraplegics..and wiped out pretty impressively..I tried out some sports wheelchairs..and discovered how strong these guys and gals need to be for just their daily live, let alone the rigors of athletics. I hand biked, and rode a tandem bike with a friend with only one hand. I had not been on a tandem bike in a long time. We had a BLAST!

We all have scads of able bodied people who we love, and who love us. But for a brief time we could all just relax with each other. We were com-padres. Fellows.

It was not all warm and fuzzy, because that's not any ones real life. We are meant to compete against each other. Some like to feel that they have it better or worse that others. Perhaps some feel they are more entitled. I choose not to focus on that.

I choose to remember having a kamikaze with two of my team mates and saluting US. The US of our team. The US of our sport. The US of our country, the US of our world.

STRONGER. FASTER. BETTER.
posted by wendy at 8:59 AM

9 Comments:

We all have scads of able bodied people who we love, and who love us. But for a brief time we could all just relax with each other. We were com-padres. Fellows.

I liked this piece, and the paragraph above is very well put......What is your sport?

11/13/07, 10:27 AM  

Good on ya! I'm proud of you, even if you did miss one day of poetry. You're a winner! {{Hugs} and a High*Five!

11/13/07, 11:12 AM  

Hi Wendy,

Glad you're having a great time. I think this post makes up for a whole week of poetry. To be honest, I've never thought of disabled as being any different than able-bodied. What does that mean anyway?

11/13/07, 12:19 PM  

I'm agree with Brian! This wonderful post makes up for missing a poem! I love the depth and thoughtfulness of your words...

11/13/07, 1:42 PM  

I felt your discomfort with having people look at you. I hate being part of a large group in public, hate moving in a herd...

11/13/07, 1:42 PM  

YOU go girl. I can relate to the crown phobia, much preferring the sanctuary of my beloved little home and all the things I love. However, sometimes, when I DO manage to get out and mingle, I find myself oddly perplexed at just how relaxed and how much FUN I DO have. There is nothing better than finding a few people, regardless of walk of life, to just chill and be one with. Be true. Be at peace. You're an example of strength, don't be so hard on yerself. ;)

11/14/07, 9:19 AM  

CROWD phobia. Darn typos. * swears under her breath *

11/14/07, 9:20 AM  

thank you for this reminder that we all are more than our bodies...we are beautiful, strong beings with huge spirits...

11/14/07, 12:34 PM  

I think you are being too hard on yourself re: writing poetry. You were training, for goodness sake. And you came home and promptly wrote about it.

If I were a waitress, I would have totally asked what your deal was. Some people are so uninspired!

11/14/07, 7:11 PM  

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