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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sports Playing Impaired!

Sports Impaired, functionally disabled. That's me! As a little kid, I liked to run and jump, but I fell a lot. I could trip on most anything. I fell off my trike, I tripped on the sidewalk,and sometimes even my own two feet got in the way. My skinned knees and elbows had scabs on scabs. It seemed nothing healed totally before I fell again. The old scab would be torn and bleeding, and a new scrape would be there too. I bet my Dad wished he had stock in mercurochrome and band aids. That stuff stung so bad, and I love the way parents somehow thought, "This will hurt me more than you." I remember one really bad fall. I was four, and chasing my dog. He zipped out the back door, which he could push open himself, with me right behind. Too late....the water hose was stretched across the steps and over to the yard. I hit the hose, flew off two steps and landed knees down on the cement! That took more than a band aid, and it took a long time to heal. 

It took me several years to learn to ride my bike. Daddy started teaching me when I was seven, but I didn't get it until I was eight. Roller skates! There's another story functionally disabled! All my friends had roller skates with keys. I got mine, but could never stand up on them. I tried over and over, with the same results. I couldn't stand up on them long enough to learn what to do next. Then there was recess and PE in grade school. Basketball and gymnastics in winter. Baseball, and soccer in spring. Time after time, I was always picked dead last for any team sport. I used to kind of feel bad, and then I realized I didn't like any of those sports anyway!  I remember following one of my friends across the railroad tracks by her house. Of course I tripped and fell. For years I had black cinders imbedded in my one knee. Eventually it went away, but I'm not sure where! (The cinders...Not my knee.)

I took dance from age three until seven. At three un-coordination is cute, but there comes a time when the costumes and the others in the group can't hide the one with two left feet. Then when I was in Junior High, my time came! Why with my track record, I decided to try ice skating, I don't know, but it was the one and only sport I could do, and was good at. Where I could not stand up on four wheels on skates, I could stand up, and move around on a single, thin, blade of an ice skate. Years of failure suddenly opened up a new world for me. I got to take lessons, and skate during the week, and on weekends. I loved the cool, glassy ice under me, and the wind created by my own body whirling around the rink. Each year the skating club I was in put on an ice show. We had costumes, were each in several numbers, got to wear theatrical makeup, and skated to routines we practiced over and over. The Sioux City Orchestra played all the music, and the light effects were just like the Ice Capade Shows of that era. For a girl who could never be a welcome part of any team effort, this was a magical time in my life! The day my parents upgraded my skates to a professional pair with wooden blade guards, was the absolute ultimate affirmation that I had one thing I had mastered! 

That was the beginning of confidence for me! I was no longer a clutsy loser! In high school I tried out for the Drill team, and found out I could follow directions, do synchronized moves, and I loved it. The Drill Team performed at every football and basketball game. You have no idea, unless you've been there what those things can do for a girl's self esteem. I still fall sometimes, and I still can't roller skate, but that's O.K. I have always been hard on myself when I can't do things. It has taken many years of walking with Jesus, for Him to finally get me to believe, I am just the way He made me! There will always be physical things I can't do, and other abilities I do not have, but He has gifted me in other ways. Since I gave my life to Him, He has shown me those gifts, and He has helped me use them for His Glory to help others. For this functionally disabled person, I was terribly insecure for so many years and really doubted my worth. I have learned that just because you can't do certain things, that does not define who you are! If we were all good at all the same things, there would be no challenges, and it would be a very boring world.