?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Lj Idol: She Thought I Couldn't - AS IT HAPPENS

Wed, Jan. 28th, 2009

11:57 pm - Lj Idol: She Thought I Couldn't

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

The locker room was crowded and bustling that first day, not to mention that I'd already gotten lost trying to find the high school gymnasium. So, needless to say I was already quite nervous. "Ah, but getting lost makes the day interesting," someone said only half jokingly. Yeah, but it sure doesn't help my confidence.

The sweats I used as dress-out clothes were already feeling kind of wrong as I stepped out onto the floor. "Ok," the instructor said: "I'm going to have this young lady help you to learn the exercises I show the class."

Alright? I reached out to shake her hand, only to discover that she was just barely 5 feet tall and 95 pounds soaking wet. "Uh, hi," she stammered.

The first thing we did was stretch. "Hey, can't you see what I'm doing?" she asked. "No, that's the point. I'm totally blind, and I'm going to need you to give me some hands-on help". "Ok? Well, just watch me!" Oh boy, this is gonna be a long semester.

I somehow got the message home to her within the next few minutes, and when she was able to comprehend my meaning, she said "oh no way! I can't teach him. I don't think he can do anything!"

We butted heads all throughout that semester, with me trying to participate in the classroom activities and she doing her level best to stop me.

Pull-ups. You know, the thing where you must clear your chin of the bar by essentially lifting your own weight? We were required to do four. "You're gonna fall from that bar and break your face. I bet you can't even do one!" One-two-three-four-five-six. Yeah, I threw in the last two for good measure. She and the rest of the class applauded wildly, but they were still very much unconvinced.

Next came the field trip to the local swimming pool. "Oh no way!" she said: "I will not let you get into that water. Not happening." I dove in over her cries and slid smoothly below the surface. I did a nice little lap and raced to the wall with so much force that I nearly broke my fingers. When my head popped up, she and they were clapping again.

Something amazing happened after that, though. We'd come to the end of the semester, and in order to wrap things up, we were to complete a grueling two-and-a-half mile jaunt around the tracks. It was raining and awfully cold, but our merciless instructor would have none of this about catching colds and such. "You'll go and do it now, or you won't pass!" she said as we shuffled towards the doors with our heads hanging.

As I grabbed the guide rope and my partner/nemesis took up the other end, I said something I hadn't all that time. "I can't do this." "Yes you can, you can do it!" she said.

This victory, while it may seem small to most, was huge to me. I don't know if I'd ever encountered anyone so cynical about my abilities, so to have proven her wrong gave me an incredible boost. I tore around that track so fast after that that I needed three different guides to maintain my pace. She simply couldn't keep up.

I decided on that day that people might think lowly of me at first, but I would do all I could to change their minds. I wish they wouldn't regard all blind people as one in the same, but since so many do I believe the impression I leave is vital for those of other generations who come up behind me. This is why I never have a problem with educating, and always look forward to answering questions posed in an intelligent manner. Better to know the truth than to live shrouded in falsehoods.

Current Music: Aaliyah - More Than A Woman

Comments:

(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:johnmill79
Date:January 29th, 2009 12:32 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Wow, thanks for that. That just made my day. I need encouragement, too. Glad you enjoyed it.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:creature_girl08
Date:January 29th, 2009 07:38 am (UTC)
(Link)
In a way by her saying you can't do anything it made you do it to prove you could. I love it.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:johnmill79
Date:January 29th, 2009 12:33 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Yeah, I try to use that as a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block. Sometimes, it's easier to do than others.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:rock_princess98
Date:January 30th, 2009 12:28 am (UTC)

```

(Link)
good job.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:johnmill79
Date:January 30th, 2009 12:40 am (UTC)

Re: ```

(Link)
Thanks.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:clariyt
Date:January 29th, 2009 12:22 pm (UTC)
(Link)
you have conveyed her character perfectly through the dialogue! Really well observed:)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:johnmill79
Date:January 29th, 2009 12:35 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks. After what she said to me before the run, we actually became great friends. It took a while, but I eventually got her respect.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:darkprism
Date:January 29th, 2009 01:53 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I LOVE this entry. The hopefulness, the in-your-face-yes-I-CAN-do-this attitude? I love it. <3

And is it all right if I add you? :)

~*~
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:johnmill79
Date:January 29th, 2009 01:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Thank you! And yes, that would be cool.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:darkprism
Date:January 29th, 2009 02:20 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Excellent!

As a side note...I'm in Charlotte quite often for business. Usually not the kind of stay that is conducive to doing anything BUT business, but I'm pretty familiar with the area. And I smiled to see the Charlotte Observer linked at the top of the page as we do a ton of advertising with them. :)

~*~
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:johnmill79
Date:January 29th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oh yeah, I love my hometown! I'm not sure there's as much to do as some would like though. It has certainly changed and grown a lot over the last ten years or so.

And I'm a newspaper junkie. The fact that most of it is now online is a revolution for blind folks.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:chopper11
Date:January 29th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Wow that's such a memorable story. That gives other people with disibility and outlook that they can do the same thing others do!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:johnmill79
Date:January 29th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks. Yeah, it was a pretty cool story. I now wonder what ever happened to that girl.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:unsilenceddream
Date:January 29th, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Awesome entry. I'm with you on the educating piece, as long as the questions are, as you say, posed intelligently. If not, well then, it makes me really annoyed and not apt to want to educate.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:johnmill79
Date:January 29th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks. You know what I've found? Seven-year-old kids often ask far better questions than older adults. I've been amazed at their thinking at times.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:unsilenceddream
Date:January 30th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
(Link)
Oh yeah, I've found the same thing. It's astounding, it really is.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:johnmill79
Date:January 30th, 2009 02:58 am (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks. You are so right abuot that.

And I was a little surprised I could do that. lol I did make that bar shake a bit. lol I don't think I'm in anywhere near the same shape I was as a teen-ager, which is kind of sad actually.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:boxsofrain
Date:January 30th, 2009 03:57 am (UTC)
(Link)
Beautiful entry.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:johnmill79
Date:January 30th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)