How My Limitations Became Motivation

“You should have been my limitation, my disability, and my obstacle…Instead, you’re my motivation.”

They say that you are only truly free when you forgive and let go of the situations that burden you. Well here is an intimate conversation between me and the body, medical conditions that tried to bring me to my knees. You failed!

I guess you could say I came into the world fighting. It’s who I am. Too many weeks early, I blame this for my need to arrive fifteen minutes early to everything. I have often joked with my family that I simply knew how amazing they are, I couldn’t wait any longer to meet them. But the odds were stacked against me. She isn’t going to talk, they told my family. Hmmm… jokes on you. I have found my voice. I know the power behind it. It deserves to be heard and I will silence it for no one! Not anymore. She won’t walk. Again, wrong. I am walking alright, walking proudly into the future that I am creating. Will I win races, certainly not. But I am going to put my cane and one foot in front of the other, regardless of how many times you try to knock me down.

The doctors they call them disabilities, challenges, obstacles. To me, you are those but you’re also my motivation. I am very lucky. I have an amazing support system. Those who have encouraged me all of my life, those in school who after knowing me for months, decided I was worthy of their love and support. Those who don’t shy away from my scars, surgeries and laugh at my endearing quality: I am not clumsy… I’m coordination-challenged. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. That being said, I am a person with a disability that is living in an able-bodied world. Unfortunately, first impressions and perceptions aren’t always the most forgiving. People first see me and I know quite a few of them think that I am not worth much, that I am not capable of greatness. You look at my body and decide this. What you don’t understand is the very qualities that you believe make me lesser than, make me stronger!

I have had to fight all of my life. Fight to be taken seriously. Fight against conditions that couldn’t breathe, but had the power to end me. Fight for the life I want and I have the strength to do that because of my “limitations”. I’ve heard it said that the only limitations that exist are the ones that you submit to and I will not bow down. Ever. There are days that I don’t handle everything as smoothly or calmly but I will always pick the sword back up and charge on.

Body, Disabilities, you won’t win. I’m not mad at you. I no longer question, “Why me,” because it isn’t an answer I need. Instead, I say thank-you. Thank-you for teaching me about strength. Thank you for teaching me that I didn’t have to be tough in order to be strong. And if you think you’re going to win, you’ve got another thing coming!

A Strong, Stubborn fighter