Personal note: The timing of this post and the events in my personal life are in the realm of “God laughs at me, all of the time.”
Growing up people always seemed interested in whether or not I had athletic aspirations, conversations which never seemed to go how you would expect. I was always picked last in gym class and never could try out for a team. I was somewhat relieved when I went to a high school that didn’t offer team sports, then my answer could be “my school doesn’t have sports” without further questions. But that didn’t mean that I didn’t have athletic aspirations.
— John W. Quinn (@johnwquinn) May 26, 2016
I didn’t think I’d ever become an athlete but now I can’t help but call myself one, if asked. Although I do get more quizzical looks now than I probably would have way back when people would ask about my interest in sports.
People think I swim as part of rehabilitation, that’s how it started but that’s not what it is now. Are their rehabilitative aspects of it, sure, but that’s not the primary goal these days.
I’ve made the mental shift from recreation and rehabilitation to athletic pursuits and then the physical shift followed.
As I spent more time in the pool I realized I needed to spend more time in the gym. The more time I spent at the gym has meant, among other things, that I’ve needed to spend less time picking myself up off the floor after a fall.
The more time I spend at the pool and in the gym the more I ate, and the more attention I paid to what I ate. I can’t just eat whatever I want and expect it to sustain me through a 2 hour swim, just one 25 yard sprint makes that point really fast.
Never mind the fact that people with CP burn calories at a faster rate than able bodied individuals, and that certain foods seem to have adverse effects on muscles prone to spasticity.
If I don’t have the fuel I can’t workout. If I don’t have the right fuel I can’t get the most out of my workouts.
Not everyone can be an athlete, but having a disability doesn’t automatically exclude you from becoming one.
People with CP can be athletes. I know, because I am one.