Ability, what is it and therefore what is disability? This question was posed to me during a training run this morning. I was trudging through the town centre and saw an empty large car with a blue badge displayed, double parked, engine left running in the zigzag markings of a pelican crossing with the driver drawing cash at the adjacent ATM. He was middle aged and had a shuffling walk.
My immediate impression was of how selfish his behaviour was. Blocking half the carriageway, putting crossing users at risk and committing another offence, that of quitting. And I was a bit shocked that a disabled person should be so selfish. But then selfishness is not mutually exclusive to disability is it? But then the old boy needed his cash and was a bit wobbly walking.
The very next impression I had was of a couple, like me out running. They were travelling at least one and a half times faster than I was. They were in their thirties and holding a conversation as they ran. IN SIGN LANGUAGE!
So in comparison here was a guy utterly able to run at speed and sign with his partner causing no problems and making no demands on us or others safety. Brilliantly able.
What an example for others who have their own trails to run and mountains to climb. I want to be able, like the signing runners and not disabled like the driver. It’s my choice. And it’s your choice too.