Monday, June 27, 2011

Great things about being blind. Paralympic experiences.

Some of you probably don't know that I was a competitive swimmer from about age 11 or 12 to 18.  I was honoured to represent canada at six national and two paralympic games.
I learned so much from this.  I am so grateful for the experiences I had.
Looking back, I realize how much I learned and how much these things have shaped me.
First, the dedication of competitive swimming, of getting  up many mornings at 5 AM, of being in the water before class, after class, having to have good time management and dedication has assisted me with many aspects of life.
Being in good shape is and always has been important.
I learned from meeting many people with many different physical disabilities, how people adapt.  How people thrive.  I leanred about people with disabilities in different countries and how they have had fewer resources than we have in Canada and in the developed world. 
I think meeting these wonderful role models at a young age, (I was 14 at my first paralympic games) helped me to learn to advocate for people with disabilities and to find my own style and way of advocacy.
I use a lot of humour.  I use the arts writing, blogging, storytelling.
I try to speak up for myself when necessary.
Today June 27 is the anniversary of the day I won my paralympic gold medal.
It is the only one I have although I have two silver medals too.
I cherish it!
Because I won it yes but also because of all that I learned on the journey.
I do tell olympic and paralympic tales if anyone wants to book me as a storyteller.
It's going to be hot here today.  Perhaps I should go for a swim?

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