Fighting to Not Be Disabled

*This post repeats a few things that I said in other posts but I wanted to give the people, who have not read my other posts, some background about me.

I spent two years of my life being “disabled”. I did not work outside my home. I spent most of my days laying on the couch. The less I did, the less I was able to do. Yes, my legs looked a bit better (not a lot smaller but they didn’t look like they were about to explode) but I realized that this was not the life I wanted to live…I was not living…I was just existing.

I decided to go back to work . I entered the world of real estate where I get to meet a lot of people on a daily basis. The first time people see my legs they think that I am very limited in my physical abilities and rush to find me a chair to sit in. They see me as disabled. No matter how many times I say that sitting is worse on my legs than walking, people really don’t believe me… UNTIL one day I mentioned that I was going kickboxing that evening. I immediately saw a change in the way they treated me. They stopped trying to get me to sit. 🙂

I didn’t start kickboxing to change people’s perception of my abilities but I have to say that it was an unexpected bonus. I originally started working out at the gym to lose weight and to feel physically healthier. Kickboxing was a small part of the program I was doing but the moment that I put the gloves on I realized that I was going to love it. I started taking kickboxing classes. During these classes I came to the realization that kickboxing was going to help me fight to not be disabled. Having to lift my legs to kick is helping to strengthen the muscles I need to lift my legs in every day life. There have been times in my life where lifting my legs to get up stairs or get in or out of a car have been very difficult. I was very used to tripping up stairs at the end of the day. That hasn’t happened in quite a while. 🙂  Here is a Facebook status that I wrote recently:

“Thank goodness I have been going to the gym. Thank you Ryan Manimal Staples.  The house I just showed had rock stairs going down to the home that were not legal rise/run. Each stair was at least the height of my knee and there were a lot!!! I think if I had shown this home before I started going to the gym I would still be stuck there. Going up the stairs I had to lift my legs as high as I possibly could and, did I mention, there were no handrails…”

This status shows just how much going to the gym has helped me.

I have had some concern from the lymphedema community  with regard to me kickboxing. They feel that the impact will be bad for my legs but, as I have explained to them, I kick for height so I do not hit the pads with my legs with a lot of force. My goal is to kick higher, not harder.

I love kickboxing and I love what it is doing for the quality of my life. Will I ever be a great kickboxer? NO (I am just not that coordinated 🙂  and I don’t kick hard) but I don’t care. It is something that I am doing for myself and I feel the more that I do it the less disabled I am… I am Fighting to Not Be Disabled!!!


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