I’m a TED talk junkie.
I surf through the unending videos to see if there’s anything of interest.
I always find something.
There are many videos about the journey with a disability. I confess, most of them upset me, for although I appreciate that each individual travels his own road, so many of them celebrate the ideal image of the person with a disability. This includes the ability to triumph above all odds, overcoming depression, physical limitations, and becoming a better person, all in the service of regaining life as it was before.
And this, my friends, is hooey. Unless your disability is temporary, or minimal, it is virtually impossible to return to what was.
And so, I was refreshingly surprised by Janine’s talk, which began sounding like the typical recovery myth, but was not. Janine’s story is about profound engagement in a new activity with the same zeal and drive that she gave to her career as an elite cross country skier. Loving it, being carried away by the flow that it creates.
Life participation is this.