About Me

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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.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Inspiration? I don't think so....

A few times a week when I'm at the gym, I'm approached by another patron who feels compelled to tell me that I'm an "inspiration." I always thank them, smile, and continue with my work-out. I do not consider myself to be an inspiration, but I do have to admit that the compliment always makes me feel good.

I was initially surprised by the sudden onset of praise from my fellow work-out warriors. I am still on the pudgy side, my shoulders are so weak I can't press more than 10 pounds, and I am fairly confident that my dancing on the steppers provides comic relief for many.  I do nothing that could be construed as attractive or even remotely impressive when I am at the gym.  I've come to the conclusion that my form or the size of the weights I am struggling to lift are both inconsequential. Apparently my simply trying to lift weights to become healthy impresses people!

I'm not just flowered with praise at the gym. I had a lady tell me that she was "so proud of me" when I was ordering ice cream at McDonald's. Why is ordering my own ice cream something worthy of a compliment? Granted, I was proud of myself for opting to go for the vanilla cone in lieu of the hot fudge sundae, but she could not have known that. I know she meant well, but her compliment was simply misplaced. 

The bar for amputees is set pathetically low, so it is not difficult to leap frog towards "impressive" or "inspiring." So many citizens hold such low expectations for anybody with a disability that by simply participating in life we are considered to be achieving something incredible. I am hoping that time and exposure to individuals with disabilities in the mainstream will help to diminish this perception.

I have learned to accept the compliments the same way I accept the naysayer's stares. I try not to take my bi-legged peers well-meaning yet condescending praise to heart. I'm hoping that by seeing me, and others with disabilities, actively engaged in the community, the level of awe can be diminished.

In the meantime, I will accept the compliments and praise at the gym. Even though I know it is unwarranted, I certainly need all the help I can get in that arena! My fellow gym members should not be impressed or inspired by me. If they knew me, they would quickly realize that I am uncoordinated and probably would not even be at the gym had I not overindulged in cookies and cupcakes during the past winter.

1 comment:

  1. I don't want you to think I sound like I am joining the bandwagon here of people that are complimenting you for no reason. For those of us that do know you, Peggy, know the truth whether you want to believe it or not. You are inspiring. Not because you lost your leg and walk with a prostetic. It's because you help so many people every day without even taking credit for it. Just by writing this blog, talking on the phone with someone who is going thru what you have gone thru or taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit someone at the hospital. On top of all that you are a wonderful mom, wife, baker, home improvement queen, writer and so so so much more with all your career opportunities and commitments. You don't give yourself enough credit and maybe, just maybe, we all aren't saying it enough so the people at the gym are conveying it for us. If you believe in carma, this is your good carma coming back to you. Enjoy the compliments because if anyone deserves them you sure do. :) And we are PROUD of you!