I’ve wanted to write about this for a while now but I didn’t quite know how to express it (and I didn’t know how to respond to it when it happened). I had a positive and affirming experience that was nevertheless completely unexpected.
I spoke with one of my yoga teachers about managing my back pain. She also teaches pilates and, after class, gave me a couple of pilates-based stretches to do that would help with my discomfort. She said that my feet were quite stiff. I said, ‘I have cerebral palsy.’ She said, ‘I had no idea.’
I was utterly shocked, especially since I know that my body is not at its best right now. I have been a lot straighter, stronger, thinner, and more balanced than I am right now. I’m aware that my body has fallen back and that I need to work harder in terms of improving myself, but I just do physical exercise at this point in my life to feel better and manage my daily pain. I was certain that my disability was clearly evident to her, especially as a healthcare professional, but it wasn’t.
This is some proof to me that I might not have fallen as far back as I thought, or that my disability isn’t as visible as I think it might be. This is also proof to me that simply working for the sake of pain management and the feeling that yoga gives me doesn’t mean I’m doing something wrong.
Last night, my sister laughed at me for using the phrase ‘get on’ like an English person. That’s what I’m doing. I’m getting on with it.