This post is stemming from an article I ran across online this morning. It has taken me all day to be calm enough to write in a humane fashion. I apologize for any anger you sense in my words. I will do my best to bring it down a few notches. In case you did not see the article, I am pasting it below. I do not know this person, nor do I know anyone whose comments were left.
The article itself is not what set me off, it was the comments of others who voiced their opinion, which is perfectly fine, but know I am going to voice mine as well. It takes alot for me to get irritated by what others think, and most of the time it only makes me stronger, but for some reason this hit a nerve. It takes a lot of courage to publicly share a disability and not be self conscience, regardless of what severity the disability entails. To know you have finally built enough courage up to want to be involved, there is always that someone who wants to drive you right back into that shell.
Today, all sports are about winning. And, if for some reason you don't win, you are most often saddened by what may be a lack of effort or because there is room for improvement. But, the next time around you find it in you to do a little better, right? That attitude is what I have dealt with and what every person with or without a known difference deals with every day of their life. If I woke up every morning and knew I was going to win every battle and conquer every goal, why would I put forth the effort to try harder? Because you WILL NOT win every game, accomplish every goal, or be satisfied in how you handle your tasks. For me, soccer was the sport of choice. I hated going to practice. Hated, hated, hated it. But, if I didn't go to practice, I sat my little hiney on the sidelines come gameday. The lesson there was what made me think I could play above the other girls if I didn't practice? I thought I was good enough...I didn't need practice. Well, I wasn't...and had I not been pushed, I wouldn't have tried to exceed my expectations. Later, when I picked up golf, it was a little more difficult. I pushed myself. Not only did I want it to go further than the guy next to me, but I wanted him to try to out-do me, so I could step up my game. In the end, if my coordination was right and I actually hit the ball, I was a winner. If I got the ball in the hole, I was a winner. I didn't need praise or a medal to show I did what everyone else around me was doing, without being put in a "category."
For example, the comments that were left that stated the wrestler in the clip had an unfair advantage because he was "used" to having one leg and the opponent wasn't "used" to wrestling anyone that was different. Hmmm...wouldn't that mean the opponent might feel HE had the advantage. I mean I'm only speaking from experience, but what do I know?!?! That is where the lack of education (among other things I can't type) comes in and not only is he worried about if they are categorized the same, but who has the upper hand. THAT IS WHERE WE GO WRONG! It is not about winning, it's how you play the game. Sure, Anthony may have different techniques to moving about, pinning, or holds, but that doesn't give him an advantage. In fact, he probably sees himself equal as his opponent, as his opponent also probably thinks nothing of it. It is the people who are on the sidelines yelling in as if they know the circumstance. Kids, or adults for that matter, do not find self confidence or esteem in someone always telling them to "do better." Sometimes, that is their best, and whether they win or lose, they played the game. They feel as if maybe the effort they put in was good enough, but next time they're going to kick butt. We need to teach children (and adults) that it is OKAY to lose. Life will go on. If you are always telling someone to do better, you are not allowing them to accomplish what they feel they need to at their level.
So, now that I am done ranting, the point (if I haven't already made it...lol) is that ANY person, difference or not, should not be put in a category or feel as if they can't accomplish something because of what others say or if they don't always win. I say it all the time, have fun with how you function because it makes people wonder just what you are able to do....and if they sit back and watch, you may give them a dose of reality!
Love to All,