Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Worst Disability

The worst disability is ableism, in that one afflicted with it will not adapt.

By ableism I mean the unfounded assumptions by an able-bodied person about what another person with a disability can, cannot, should, or should not do.

To their miraculous credit my fellow karateka have risen to every occasion to work with me. Despite fear of hurting me or of being injured themselves by my splints they have done whatever is necessary to include me on drills and practices. They have waited patiently while I stood dazed in the center of a fighting circle until my blood pressure regulated and my vision returned. They have attacked or defended more gently when the exercise involved smaller joints. When I have needed my crutches they have worked with me around them, accepting without question that they are to be interpreted as an extension of my person.  My classmates are the sterling model of full inclusion.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Fresh Success!

The pain had finally begun to subside and the rest of my body is sufficiently rehabilitated. I can give karate 110% again.

We have been sparring, kicking, break-falling, and worming on kata.

Because I put so much energy into tonight I need to rest but I wanted to get an update in.

Things to work on: not short-circuiting when anyone assumes I can't do something, rather than asking. My classmates are incredible at rising to the occasion. I have to work very hard to not feel like having Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a dirty little secret. If I need my crutches, I need to advocate for myself and not let anybody worry about how it might distract others. It's a reasonable accommodation and if I ever truly want to be safe, I need to learn to fight with--and for--all modalities of adaptation.

Be well.