A broken leg has given me a new perspective on what people who live with physical disabilities go through. Over the past month I’ve learned how difficult it can be to accomplish even simple tasks, such as going to the bathroom, or getting a cold drink from the refrigerator. Just overcoming a few steps on a stairway can become a major accomplishment. I’m not asking for sympathy. I know in a few weeks I’ll be able to walk on two legs.
As I’m writing this I can’t help but think about a man I know who needs a walker to get around, yet he makes it to our local YMCA five times a week to exercise. You can hear him coming down the hall to the room with the stationary bikes, elliptical and weight machines. He climbs on one the bikes and proceeds to slowly pedal for 20 minutes. He then trudges to the elevator to go to the swimming pool to get in a few laps.
Like many others, I have found 100s of reasons I can’t make it to the gym. Too busy. Too tired. Don’t feel like it. I’m sure the man I’ve described has to find ways to motivate himself just to get through the day.
As the saying goes, you can never completely understand what someone goes through in life until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. I have no idea if I’ve actually gone a mile with my walker, but it has given me a fresh outlook and respect for those who go through their entire lives with disabilities.