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Facing Reality

Hello friends. I know it has been a while so apologies for the lack of brain waves filling your lives recently (although I know you have all been far too busy making the most of the pubs reopening to notice so all is good).

Thankfully I am now rid of Bill the Boot-that was just a ridiculously long ordeal which I am very pleased to be past-who knew a fractured foot which I didn’t even feel, or see on the scan, would occupy so much of my time – just greedy really. I will be forever grateful for all of your support during my Brownie Bakeathon to keep me sane as well as raise an incredible amount of money for such a worthy cause, (raising £7,200 for Scope helped put spring in my broken step!

Getting rid of Bill meant one thing after a tonne of physio (actually only 4 weeks but it felt like an eternity)……. I WAS ALLOWED TO RUN.

However, after all the blood sweat and tears it took to get me back to running (single leg squats are, and will always be, hideous-my left leg is just not designed to do that) I was expecting to be Usain Bolt and the reality was so far from that, it was a disaster. A disaster that my brain was not ready to process. I have been plugging away at Couch to 5K once I was given the green light on running again by my physio, I had to run on very flat, short grass as I did not trust my balance after three months of not using my left leg and felt like Bambi on jelly so had to stay well clear of potholes, dodgy pavements and mismatched footpath so the Wimbledon Centre Court style grass felt like the right place to start.

Okay so that is all well and good, I felt like I could stand upright without falling over and crashing down. So to begin running was where the problems started. With all the physio the focus was now on my magnificent new gait, long strides and knees high so I could clear the ground- simple. In my mind I was bounding along with nice high knees, excellent clearance arms pumping just like any normal person (or Usain Bolt). How wrong I was as you can see from the video.  Clearly there is disconnect between my legs and brain which I was not ready for, my own perception and reality were worlds apart and it was a strange place to be. Normal running is not feasible for me and I know that but I just did not expect to look like I do in this video. In reality my immediate response is to question why I would bother running if I look like that (not that this is something anyone has ever said but we are all our own worst critic so I had to voice it although it was not as stylish voice over, much more of a garbled mess which only I could understand). I was shocked that despite all my work on long strides to make sure that I had clearance with my left leg to balance my gait. I would still insist on dragging my left leg like it was made of lead and my arms just looked like a wooden puppet without any use.  

I was not ready to accept that was what I looked like and then seeing my walking was just a whole other shocker-who really wants to look like that? I now start to understand why bouncers at university clubs thought I was totally beyond gone when I had only had a couple of drinks. I then questioned all the interactions I had in the past with people who I don’t know and made me think I almost need a sign on my forehead to explain this crazy lady walking across the restaurant and why I look the way that I do, or that cerebral palsy (CP) needs to be the first thing I mention after my name when I meet someone. I was completely thrown by it and felt like the Centre Court grass had been pulled out from under my very unstable legs. And you know the mad thing, I requested this video as I wanted to see what else I needed to work on, I mean how much punishment do I really want?

I am so proud of the fact I have always done whatever I want to do and I know I have CP but I just completely did not recognise the fact that I look different as a result of that (bit slow off the mark I know only 26 years down the line here) but you know what-there is no normal, everyone is unique and that is what makes us such brilliant and wonderful humans. It has been a tricky few weeks giving myself this pep talk but I am getting there slowly. There is no point hiding from every photo or video there ever was of me, I am who I am and I can’t do anything about that as we only have one body so I just need to suck it up and make the most of it. The fact I am getting out running and walking is something to be hugely proud of so who actually cares what it looks like? If people do care they are clearly not people I want to bother with. I just need to work on convincing myself of that as it would be pretty useful and may come in handy one day.

13 thoughts on “Facing Reality

  1. Yazzi this is a very courageous post.
    We all fall into the gap between perception and reality when it comes to our bodies and how they work and are seen by ourselves and others.
    You made me stop and think twice about the perception vs reality gap faced by people with disabilities on a daily basis.
    I am so proud of you for writing this.

    Like

  2. Wow Yazzi, what self awareness wisdom and courage. Learning to accept ourselves and to like/love ourselves as we are (everyone faces challenges, some visible some not). By being so open and honest you are not just helping yourself but also anyone reading your blog. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your best blog yet yazzi. Our perception of ourselves is our reality. Others perceptions of us can be shallow lacking the profundity of who we really are. Get that knee sorted, body strengthened and back to what we love. Your resilience tenacity empathy and strength make you a truly outstanding person.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yazzi you are a remarkable young lady, most people live a life time without being as honest and wise about themselves. Be proud of what you achieve, which includes writing a blog about living with CP. Continue to work hard to at being you, your certainly helping others and I really hope that in time you’ll convince yourself that it’s what is inside that matters not the cover. Remember we’re all human and as such not one of us is perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Personally I think you look really cool running in that video – full of energy and bounce, determined but relaxed. The only difficult thing to look at is someone who is unhappy doing what they are doing. Joy is always beautiful and you have it in bucketloads. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mary – you lovely lady, what thoughtful words to send to Yazzi – she needs encouragement more than ever right now as she is sadly back on crutches with a fractured knee xx

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      1. Yazzi is an inspiration Micky, a credit to your positivism – in the words of Chumbawamba ‘i get knocked down, but i get up again, you’re never going to keep me down’

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