The roller coaster of exercising while disabled

July 23, 2021

It's a mindfuck, exercising while disabled and chronically ill.

I've started doing it again, and it's brought up so many feelings that I forgot I'd need to grapple with. Thankfully, my mental health is in a fairly strong place right now, so I've been able to identify and deal with them better than any past attempts.

The biggest struggle has been comparing myself to able-bodied people.

For example, when I walk with my partner and we need to slow down for me, I feel like I'm holding him back even though I know I'm not. When I think about posting a "win," I think of abled people seeing it and going "psshhh, big deal."

And then, I feel guilty for that. Because I know how grateful to be for the ability I do still have. I've known what it's like not to be able to walk at all, so I "should" know better than to minimize any walking accomplishment.

But then...I get pulled back to the current moment.

I notice how unusually powerful my legs feel. Sweat drips down my forehead for a reason other than sickness. The timer notifies me I've been not only standing up, but moving around, for 30 minutes straight.

All these things that once felt unimaginable and part of a past life for me.

And everything else melts away.

If this essay helped you learn something or think differently, please consider sending a tip. I love writing and sharing things that can help others, but spending my energy this way does have repercussions for my health and business.