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  1. #16
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    Jul 2003
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    Pax, very cool.

    I can't imagine being a firefighter. You were and still are fierce! Thank you for sharing your stories with us. And yes, do give yoga a try. It can be very difficult, but any instructor worth his or her salt will work with you and respect/honor your limitations. That's part of what yoga is all about. Namaste!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
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    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,847
    Namaste, Emily. I got to take some chair yoga when they offered it at work and it was wonderful! The instructor invited me to this studio and said they would do anything they could to help me; I'm pretty excited to give it a try.

    Electra Townie 7D

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    214
    I have been disabled my entire life. I have cerebral palsy. For me my disability has always been a part of me. It doesn't define who I am but it is certainly a part of me as much as my ethnic background, gender, or even occupation. But sometimes I think physical disabilities are made out to be much larger than they are. It's not that the limitations aren't real, but the difference is perceived as greater.

    That said, I think change is difficult for everyone, and I find as I get older (and I am 53 now) that I also am having to deal with physical changes in my abilities. And yes that is tough, but I do what I can to hopefully keep what I have. Sometimes I wonder if the difficulty with change is we compare what we had with what we have now, and then scare ourselves when we think where this could go in the future. And maybe the better option is embracing the present as we are now with an appreciation that life continually changes, and it can be exciting and cool wherever we are.
    Bike Friday Petite Crusoe
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  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
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    1,144
    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Sometimes I wonder if the difficulty with change is we compare what we had with what we have now, and then scare ourselves when we think where this could go in the future. And maybe the better option is embracing the present as we are now with an appreciation that life continually changes, and it can be exciting and cool wherever we are.
    thanks sylvia...an excellent suggestion for everyone!!!!!!!! it's not always the circumstances that threaten us but our reaction......
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,847
    Sylvia - agree about that difficulty, it is a rough go when you start seeing what you can't do anymore. I'm trying to embrace "the new me", but it's a process. I have to grieve a bit for what I lost, but I'm seeing a light at the end of the tunnel these days.

    Electra Townie 7D

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    214
    Pax, It is a process, and I'm glad you are making headway.

    One of the things that concerns me when it comes to disabilities is there is a bit of a stigma that goes with it in our culture, much like there is with getting "old". And since the two often go hand-in-hand it makes it even harder. The husband of a good friend of mine was diagnosed with Parkinsons a few years ago. It runs in his family and he had seen his father go through it. His initial reaction after being diagnosed was maybe he should just kill himself now. And unfortunately, I've read about others who have felt this same way after suddenly finding themselves severely disabled. As someone who is disabled, it is almost shocking to me. So I have to wonder what can we do as a culture and as a society to make that transition easier.
    Bike Friday Petite Crusoe
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  7. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    12,995
    Frankly, I am pretty sure I would have that reaction, too. I don't want to be old and the thought of not being able to do what I do now is extremely disturbing to me. Since I am already old in years, this is a problem. I know it's not a positive attitude to have, but I know so many people who are 60-80 years old and still are running marathons and riding 5-10K miles a year, that I know what is possible. Some of these people have had their "things," with medical issues, but they all come back in one way or another. I suspect that if I became disabled in some way, I would try to find a way to do sports that my disability allowed. Until then, my goal is to keep doing what I do, maybe more slowly.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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  8. #23
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
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    1,144
    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    One of the things that concerns me when it comes to disabilities is there is a bit of a stigma that goes with it in our culture, much like there is with getting "old"............. So I have to wonder what can we do as a culture and as a society to make that transition easier.
    My wife is a strong supporter of disability rights...i I’ve seen some good work being done in the social support awareness and attitude areas (NDA etc.) that can help to give people in all age groups more positive feelings about their everyday life. We need much more of it but we have come a long way from the disempowering attitudes and stereotyping of the past. We also need more strong voices of inclusion in both public and private sectors and the promotion and support of that kind of leadership. I prefer to see solutions to all challenges in my life in a positive way. That just brings me more satisfaction. I also see the positive attitudes of others helping me more.
    Last edited by rebeccaC; 08-14-2016 at 11:47 AM.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    Quote Originally Posted by rebeccaC View Post
    My wife...
    Wait - I missed something! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  10. #25
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueberry View Post
    Wait - I missed something! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!
    thanks ...it feels good saying it!!!! and one month this coming tuesday.

    from the salt lake city thread
    Quote Originally Posted by rebeccaC View Post
    after a little over a month of planning, family and friends watched and celebrated Alexandra’s and my marriage last Saturday in Gordes. We’re staying in France this week and then traveling back home to the new journey of sharing our lives together.

    btw….thinking I’m not going to be on the net much for a while

    …..safe rides for all
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    214
    Crankin, I think this reaction is not uncommon.
    RebeccaC, yes things have come a long way.

    It doesn't bother me when someone uses the word disabled or even handicapped; they are words with a specific meaning that I'm fine with. But what I find difficult, is when the differences are made out to be much larger than they are. For me, differently abled, or special needs, often become a form of euphemistic labels which still have an emphasis on the difference. When we make differences out to be greater than they are, or place more emphasis on the differences than on the similarities, it is like there is a tie or a bond that we damage. Almost a "you are not like us" even though it is never blatantly stated that way. And so when someone suddenly finds themselves on the receiving end of that, WOW... not only do you have to deal with the physical changes but you have a pile of other stuff as well. Things like pity, or patronizing attitudes, or even being someone's inspiration. And you just want to say STOP because you just want to be accepted as yourself.

    I have often wished that my disability were seen as no different than someone who just had to wear glasses to see.
    And I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining when I say that, but I do think how we view disabilities could have an impact on how we (as we get older) and others are able to adjust to our limitations.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 08-14-2016 at 12:46 PM.
    Bike Friday Petite Crusoe
    Terry Trixie
    Gary Fisher beater bike

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    12,995
    One of the most inspiring and eye opening experiences I've had cycling was doing the Wounded Warrior Ride a few years ago. In the beginning, some of the Warriors started out with the ride for the first 10 miles. That was amazing. But there were also many, many warriors with the regular ride, with a variety of abilities. I was dropped by all of them, men and women....
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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    2011 Guru Praemio
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  13. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    214
    LoL Crankin,

    I'm glad you got to experience this. It sounds like you had a lot of fun. This is one of the reasons why I wish the paralympics got more visibility. I think it would really open more people's eyes to the possibilities around them. It should be starting in a few weeks.
    Bike Friday Petite Crusoe
    Terry Trixie
    Gary Fisher beater bike

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    12,995
    Thanks, Sylvia.
    And I am just stating my honest feelings when I say how I would most likely react to a sudden disability in my life. While I am a real proponent of changing your thoughts to change your life, the bottom line is that no amount of "la, la, la, it's all positive and cheery," is going to change the raw emotion I *know* I would experience. Perhaps it's the perspective of age; I am not going to BS the reality of anything.
    So, I keep doing everything I can do to stay healthy, thank G-d for the longevity and good genetics in my family, while knowing it can change in an instant.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    214
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    Thanks, Sylvia.
    And I am just stating my honest feelings when I say how I would most likely react to a sudden disability in my life. While I am a real proponent of changing your thoughts to change your life, the bottom line is that no amount of "la, la, la, it's all positive and cheery," is going to change the raw emotion I *know* I would experience. Perhaps it's the perspective of age; I am not going to BS the reality of anything.
    So, I keep doing everything I can do to stay healthy, thank G-d for the longevity and good genetics in my family, while knowing it can change in an instant.
    No I get it, you are being absolutely honest about it and I think you should be. The worst thing to do is bottle it all up and pretend everything is good when it's not.
    I don't think you get to a point of being able to fully accept alternate paths until you can accept the loss. The main thing is to not get stuck in the past such that you can't move on.

    That said, for some one that finds themselves disabled, and has gotten past the grieving stage, I think an interesting thought experiment is imagining what a cool and exciting life might look like given the current circumstances. Certainly we all know people of varying ages and abilities who have had cool and amazing lives. And what would that look like for you or even me? And then what do we need to do to get there from where we are now. That becomes the next journey. And I'm not going to sugar coat it and pretend like it's all roses from then on, because really no journey is. The main point is not to let the tough times keep you from enjoying the good times. Don't get stuck. And ultimately that gets back to the whole honesty thing.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 08-15-2016 at 07:11 PM.
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