Yesterday morning I was jittery, although Scott would say irritable, with nervous energy. I worked around the house, cleaning and re-cleaning the living areas of my house. Robby followed along "helping" whenever possible. I then had to double back and clean up his attempts at cleaning.
When the camera crew arrived, Robby and my mom (who graciously drove 5 hours round trip to help me out for the afternoon) went for a walk. The two ended up at our neighbor's house. Mr. Bill is in his 70's and has quickly become one of Robby's best friends. Mr. Bill loves nothing more than digging in the dirt, hammering nails and gnawing on blocks of cheese while sitting on the tailgate of the pick-up truck. Sharing common interests, their friendship was inevitable.
With Robby safely tucked out of the way, I had only to focus on the task at hand. The crew consisted of five people and four trucks of equipment. It took 30 minutes to set up the lights and soundboards for the 20 minute interview. To my surprise, I felt calm and composed when the cameras began to roll.
After relaying my story and answering questions, the producer wrapped the interview. Thinking that the taping was over, I invited everybody inside for brownies. It was then that I learned that they were planning on filming me while I ran.
I don't think I could be more clear when I say that I am not a runner. I participated in a race, but I am not fast. I have been known, on occasion, to move through the neighborhood in a motion that somewhat resembles a jog. My movements are neither fluid nor graceful. Before my amputation, my running style was once described by my softball coach as looking "deformed." Losing my leg has not improved my form.
Despite my pleas that I am not a pretty runner, the Producers were determined to get the video. They felt that it would contribute to the film in a positive manner, and would help the lay public view amputees as being both competent and capable. I conceded and agreed to run on film.
I changed into the cutest running shorts I own. Because I was not allowed to wear my Livestrong and Nike work-out shirts due to copyright issues, I was forced to scavenge the bedroom to try to find an appropriate garment. After frantically searching, I was resigned to wearing one of Scott's gray undershirts.
My inner voice was pleading with me to fake a sprained ankle. I even toyed with the notion of falling on the nuts in the driveway, forcing the film to wrap without the much sought footage. Ultimately I decided to smile broadly, keep my head high and put on the best running demonstration I could muster.
I am hoping that their expectations of the running video sequence are not ill-conceived when the film is released. They are confident that showing me running will advance the positive perception of amputees. I, however, am fairly confident that I will end up looking like an lame duck waddling slowly in her husband's underwear but quickly flapping her wings in an enthusiastic manner. I guess we'll know for sure when the documentary airs this spring.
- I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.