Dear people with disabilities… 

Now that we have rung in this New Year and flipped to the next digit to enter the shiny new Era, we need more. We should desire something to make us stand out from the crowd, as it is too easy to vanish into obscurity if we do not grow. In life, no challenge should define us like struggles do not say who we are as they are just a blip in our timeline. So every year, we should grab the tree of life, and with all the strength, we can muster and shake it. So if you have a lot of power, rock and rattle its branches until they crack, or if you have less vitality, vigorously shake the twigs and leaves roaring, I am here. We must not merely survive this game called life, but we must thrive like a cactus in the scorching desert sun.

The key to finding the new thing which will change your outlook on life is to consider your limits. You should stretch slightly past your comfort zone to prove to yourself you can do more. Find something you have never done or are not good at and do it. Studies show this builds your brain connections and can make you smarter and a well-rounded person. Find your neighborhood community center and look into taking some classes involving art or cooking. If age-appropriate, find a senior center, check out the schedule, and make new and possibly lifelong friends. If you pinpoint and take part, there are plenty of events for the low and even mid-speed abilities.

For those looking for high octane options, there are a plethora of them from which to choose. Adaptive sports have become a massive industry, as no one enjoys being excluded because of life’s lousy limitations. We have come so far in technology, and what was once impossible is now conceivable. Great minds have gotten together and figured out how to make most things work correctly, specifically for the disabled. We have all heard the phrase; there is an app for that. Now we can say there is an adaptation for that.

Adaptive sports include surfing, kayaking, skiing, skydiving, and the list goes on and on. No matter your talent level and abilities, you can ride a bike with a handcycle, or if you have the required skills, you can whitewater kayak. If you are willing, it is not out of the question to snow ski in Colorado with the best of the best. Your willingness to act or not limits you, and what the imagination can create for these sports can help.

I have always said: do not tell me I cannot do something because, with time and effort, I will make it happen. People challenged me to do a 5k in my wheelchair, and even though others doubted I would complete it, I was successful. Some said I could not do two and a half miles of swimming, yet I blew that challenge out of the water, and I swam eight grueling miles. There may be obstacles in your path, but you decide to allow them to stop you or not. The question becomes, how badly do you want it, and how much are you willing to sacrifice to accomplish the goal? So get off the couch and pick up your feet, cane, crutches, get behind your walker, or even sit in your wheelchair and do something new for the New Year.

Do not let your ailment stop you; do something despite it.

One thought on “Dear people with disabilities… 

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