Yes, I know I’m a little tardy writing this week’s post but sometimes inspiration’s schedule clashes with deadlines. Saturday afternoon I enjoyed a pleasant change in pace from my usual routine, tagging along to watch friends play paintball. Their chosen battlefield ended up a rough terrain woods. While a rough terrain the average person can navigate the landscape rather easily. As you know though, I’m not average. I have cerebral palsy and my balance issues turn a hike through the woods into a team effort.
One person walked ahead to discover exactly how much mud laid on the horizon. At times another person cleared large twigs and other obstructions from the path. Hand holding remained a constant. Throughout the adventure my one friend remarked on multiple occasions,
“Zach is going through the woods. He’s a trooper!”
Honestly I found the comment a little silly yet amusing. I mean the thought to stay back didn’t occur to me. Why should I sit out on the day’s events? I’m just another member of our group. If my friends maintain a willingness to step up and lend assistance where needed, no reason exists to why I shouldn’t join them.
Upon deeper reflection however, I can appreciate the whole “He’s a trooper” mentality. After all I take my “just another member of the group” attitude for granted. Other people with disabilities may not exhibit such a demeanor. They might quickly play the handicap card or complain their friends pick activities too hard on them. Sure my legs felt like rubber by the time we left the woods, but a little soreness proves a worthwhile sacrifice in exchange for excellent bonding opportunities
Bottom line, ability starts with attitude. Keep an open mind. Try before you quit or complain. True friends will help you out. Reconsider that friendship label for anyone who gives you a legitimate hard time. Forget them losers. You deserve better. 😀