My body works backwards.
During some winter months, Heather and I join a cross-fit exercise class at our local rec center. Most of the exercises are challenging because, well, if they weren’t, why would we want to do them?
But some of the exercises are challenging to me and not most of the other participants. When we’re supposed to take our right hands and touch our left feet, I typically take my right hand and touch my right foot. And similar things happen with other exercises.
I call it body dyslexia.
“Disabled” is not a good word, because it’s a label. A person living with a disability is a better way to describe those of us who are challenged in one or more areas because that’s only a part of who we are – not the whole.
I’m living with body dyslexia.
And dancing? Impossible for me.
The “DANCE” photo is courtesy of Georgia de Lotz via Unsplash. Used under a Creative Commons license.
When we go out to eat, my wife’s choices are limited… she has gluten sensitivity challenges.
If a restaurant has gluten-free options, there are few. And they may not be marked as such.
We also get to pay double for the pleasure of knowing that the half-size pizza does not contain heavily-processed wheat flour.
Living in Clarendon, Texas (population 1,857) would cause even more limitations for someone with gluten issues.
Vegan? I won’t even go into that realm, but you see that the same issues apply. (There is no Ruth’s Chris Tofu House.)
Live with a wheelchair? There are not many off-the-shelf choices in the Ferrari line that will allow you to drive.
Is there a solution?
One might be for a Clarendon resident to move to the big city.
The big city resident might move closer to a Whole Foods supermarket and adjust their budget accordingly.
But basically, it’s just not fair if you fall outside the mainstream.
A few weeks ago, I took a tumble off my bike. The road repair crews had put caution tape between the cones along one of the roads on my way to work – that wasn’t there the week before. I didn’t see the tape until I was too close. I slammed my brakes and went head-over-heels.
A guardian angel lady saw me tumble and quickly pulled over. She crammed my bicycle into the back seat and took me home, in spite of how I was such a bloody mess.
Through a miracle, I was able to get my teeth fixed that morning at a nearby dentist. Through another miracle, my dental insurance covered the vast majority of this unplanned expense.
Good as new!
Not quite. My face was a melange of scars for the next week. The aches and pains still live on – for a little while, at least.
That incident reminded me that nearly anything can happen to us. And that we’re fragile.
People all around us are injured. We may not see their scars. But we should treat them with love and care, just like that guardian angel lady treated me.
We never know if someone in our daily lives is about to break. The stress of life might be more than they can handle.
A little love and care can go a long way toward their healing. And we’ll feel better for having made a difference in their life.
The human-animal connection is unlike any other. We understand and interact with our pets at varied levels. On my little chart, dogs are the highest-interacting animals. Dogs also seem to have the ability to experience greater depths and heights of emotion than any other animal.
No one would argue with the idea that goldfish are the least interactive of any pets. (I have yet to hear of anyone making a pet out of a snail.)
I’m a cat lover. Generally, cats can be as smart as dogs. But cats certainly care less about humans than most dogs do. Or at least cats love to give the impression of not caring that a human is around. “What? Oh, sorry, I didn’t see you were there.”
And that’s part of the reason I like cats more than dogs. Our cat can survive without my attention.
As soon as you enter its field of perception, a dog will run over to interact with you – run to you and not walk.
But what if I want to be ignored? That’s not part of a dog’s universe.
Our cat, Floof loves us, even when he’s asleep.
During my bicycle ride to work, I pass by a large cemetery with vast green expanses of lawn spread out among scattered memorial benches. (They have a rule against vertical tombstones.)
And they use their own well water to keep the grass a healthy and tranquil green.
But isn’t that water drawn from the same aquifer that surrounding neighborhoods use?
Apparently, when you use your own well water, you can water at the peak of sunshine exposure, when evaporation is at its highest. And you can water however many days a week you like.
Even worse, one neighborhood I ride through irrigates grass along the edges of their roads seven days a week.
The rest of us in suburbia are limited by Denver water authorities to three days a week and no watering between 10 am and 6 pm.
I’m not jealous of this extravagant use of water. But I find it interesting that these rules apply to only one set of users.
Life is always like that – one set of rules for one group and another set for another group – unlimited access to resources for one group and very limited access for another group.
You and I need to just accept this and ride on.
That figure is what this Jeep owner paid to have gigantic wheels and tires. He (or she) sits head and shoulders above many of the teeming masses below.
Besides the added financial cost, they pay the price for this privilege in several other ways:
- Reduced fuel economy
- Increased road noise
- Reduced number of off-road trails that can be accessed, due to the massive width
- Reduced top speed
- Increased opportunities to end up head-over-heels, due to a much higher center of gravity
- Greatly reduced visibility out the rear-view mirror
- Inaccurate speed readings from the speedometer
- Scaring drivers that are faint of heart
Is it worth the extra cost? I’m sure the owner thinks so.
My take? Buy a large bumper sticker that expresses your individuality.
My vehicle? No added exterior content. No bumper stickers. (I express my individuality in other ways – like by writing this.)
I need to change my attitudes.
It’s really easy for me to think my way is the best.
Heather and I recently bought a used car to make our lives less complicated. We carefully chose the model that had the very best balance of fun and fuel savings. And we love it.
I also have taken a lot of satisfaction in the thought that this is a car that few people choose. It’s fun to be off the beaten path.
But I tend to look at other cars and attack their lack of practicality or wasteful use of fuel. And then I judge their owners for their shiny, new vehicle-of-choice that does not fit my narrow set of parameters.
So I’m working on changing my attitudes.
“Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves” (from here).