Having a disability is a lot like competing on American Ninja Warrior.
That’s a weird comparison for someone whose body is incased in bone & can’t walk or lift her arms above shoulder level or hold her body weight or even walk. I couldn’t make my way across the Shrinking Steps. I couldn’t make it across the Spinning Log. My wheelchair wouldn’t make its way up the warp wall and forget about spider-monkeying my way up the Power Tower.
Realistically, I’d be lucky if I could even make it to the starting line (there’s probably stairs, I don’t know).
But, I’m a lot like those Ninja Warriors, it just looks different for me.
- Every obstacle is a balance obstacle in my life. While its not Shrinking Steps or running over Cannon Ball Alley… walking is enough of a balance challenge for me.
- I’m always visualizing my next more, or how I’m going to make it to my end point. Usually I’m trying to get into a building, but I’m always visualizing my next move. While it’s not how I’m going to make it on Surfboards… I still have to find a way across.
- The goal is to always make it to the next obstacle without falling. Although if I fall I’m down for days and there’s not water underneath me…
- Grabbing the next tool is always the goal. I’m not reaching for a handle on Kilda Scope, but I’m looking for my reacher or walker or wall… whatever I can to hold myself up.
- Any task I do takes all ofmy energy. While you can [somehow] make it through 10 grueling obstacles… I use all my energy to go to the bathroom. It doesn’t matter if my energy is on 0.. You just finished the Warp Wall and are looking at the back half of the course and have to find the energy to tackle the next 5 obstacles… I have to figure out how to get from the couch to my bed.
- It doesn’t matter what’s behind me… I’m always looking ahead.
- At the end of a run…. I need a break.
I’m a warrior too. But like everything in my life- it just looks different for me. While I’ll never stand on the top of Mount. Modonna, I’ll always be on the top of Mont. Carli—and that’s enough for me.
I am a Ninja Warrior—and you are too.