One of the challenges I am finding lately as I adjust to being disabled is that I am not sure what my identity is. It’s like I have to find who I am now that I am not what I was before. I look for boundaries that I can butt up against to to tell me where I am at – whether I can go further or whether I have reached a plateau in whatever task I am working on.
However I think what I am actually learning is that my identity is not made up of my achievements – that I don’t have to stop when I hit a wall and accept that that is now as far as I can go. I am discovering that life, whether disabled or able-bodied, should be about setting quiet personal goals and making a plan to go after them rather then hoping or wishing that you might have what is at that goal mark.
The key with goal-setting is this: the goal needs to be something you think you are capable of achieving, but that can be adjusted if necessary. There is no losing this way. If you don’t reach your goal, re-adjust and make another one. If you do make the goal you set for yourself, then set another one, further out.
Ok enough of my philosophy. This past weekend, Marijo and I just partook in a local fun run called Pitter Patter (link will have race results in a few weeks). It has been an annual event that we have participated in almost every year since we met. This year we both met and exceeded our goals. The local community 5 & 10k run is held each year at Loyalist College with funds going towards Belleville Community Policing.
It has turned into a real friends and family event for us. My mom, sister, daughter, son-in-law, grandson, mother-in-law, brother-in-law and our personal trainer at One-to-One Fitness and some good friends were all there. Also 6 of the Nursing staff and some of their family members from Kingston Hospital joined the run to support me. Marijo ran the 5k and beat her personal best time from 4 years ago. I was able to drop my walker this year and just use my custom-made crutches, dropping several minutes off of my time from last year – and… I beat Marijo’s mom, who is 84, by about a minute this year! Thanks for letting me win Nan!
As tradition demands, we all went out to a local restaurant afterwards for some good food and socializing and watched as our two families bantered back and forth. What a day! Some great photos were taken and lots of smiles all around. I’m not sure what lies ahead for next years personal goals for this event but I’ve got a little bit of time to figure that out. I want to thank everyone for all their support.
Note: The Kingston Operating Nurses raised, through a bake sale, $741.00 for my dear friend Cyndi Desjardin who is having a fund raising event on Sunday May 6th. Her event is called a ‘What ever-a-thon’ and funds raised will go to buying her two mio-electric hands. Price tag is $100,000….wow!. Marijo and I will be partaking in this worthy cause being held in Newmarket. If you should wish to donate to her event you can easily do by….clicking here.