Since I began to deal with the obstacles inherent in having a disability, I have taken many paths in advocating for myself and those I care about. One of the most rewarding directions I’ve taken was when I served as a fitness instructor for people with and without disabilities. People didn’t realize how much their bodies were capable of accomplishing. So, in each and every class I taught, I empowered my students with my “I can do” attitude. I tried to make each class very enjoyable and carefree. In retaliation, my students in the adaptive aerobics class would take the time to playfully batter with me as I counted out the number of repetitive repetitions to the exercise movement we were doing to the rhythm of the music. They found much amusement and light-heartedness in trying to pull one over on me.
In my private work, I have been a part of helping many clients grow and develop not only their physical abilities with their specific limitations, but , I have witnessed their self-confidence and awareness soar. Despite my so called barriers, I have found a way to rise above and conquer and share. I have found ways not only to encourage and inspire, but to feel very grateful myself.
Thanks to my dance teacher, Al Gilbert, and my dear mama, I have been able to rise above many stumbling blocks and give of myself in ways no one else has. It has been a sincere gift to be able to use what I learned throughout the many years of my life, in dance, aerobics, and physical therapy, and give to others unconditionally. These life giving lessons have shown me that having this disability of Cerebral Palsy has not only helped me to develop myself, as a person, teacher, mentor, advocate, published author, but help others in ways no one else might be able to or admit to.
My disability, and its so called inherent disadvantage or weakness, however you want to call it has really turned out to be a blessing in disguise.