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Monday, February 13, 2012

Skiing Again!

I am in Vermont and skiing. I have skied three times. Day one was great. Day two a bust. Day three awesome. This is the very last aspect of my life to be reclaimed since my wound healed. I am not happy, I am thrilled. I am also in bad shape. My conditioning is not good. I cannot ski all day yet. I made five runs today. I got better each time. My speed increased, I was linking turns well and gained a huge amount of confidence. Will ski tomorrow morning and head home. I am also teaching at Purchase College. I truly enjoy teaching there. The students are smart and appreciate the value of an education. I am adjusting to the evening class that ends at 9:50pm. And yes I hold them to 9:50pm or darn close.

Been thinking of a new post while I am driving to and from Vermont. I think well when driving. For some time I have been feeling divorced from newly paralyzed people. They don't seem to get it. It meaninig equality. Some newly paralyzed people think they are unique unto themselves. Zero thought is given to where ramps and elevators came from or that there was and is a civil rights battle to be waged. I get this, it takes time to get up to speed and learn how to adapt to a paralyzed body and the social implications of wheelchair use. What I do not get is the unique sentiment. I refer to this as the Reeve school of paralysis. There is an unwillingness to accept paralysis and move on with life. Part of this is the fact the cure industry has its hooks into the rehabilitatioin n business. Not sure where blame lies but I perceive newly minted paralyzed people as set up to fail. There is far too much hand holding. I do not advocate stepping back in time where the mentality was sink or swim. Too many sank and were never heard from again. What strikes me is that we paralyzed people are not unique. We share common social, economic, and political barriers. Yes, no two people are paralyzed the same way. But paralysis is the least of problems. We old timers get this, especially those active in the struggle forequal rights. And here is where being unique hurts us. We are divided and easily oppressed. We must be united politically. We must be hard assessing. We must assert ourselves and advocate for all people with disabilities. This philosophy is the antithesis of the most wellknown paralyzed person in recent memory, Christopher Reeve. More on this in my next post.

2 comments:

Nessie Siler said...

William,
Glad to see you are back :) I see you had a fabulous time! Have a safe trip home, and I hope we hear more from you soon.

Nessie

Ruth Madison said...

Yay for you being back to skiing!

The period of time it takes people to smarten up and realize there is a civil rights battle being fought is why I advocate for people learning about disability rights *before* they become injured. Talk about an uphill battle. lol.