The Hidden Climb

Published on 18 June 2024 at 19:30

January brings a new year and most people hope for a better year. Many people set resolutions to lose weight, save money, and to make other improvements. Few people keep their resolutions because they get discouraged by set backs and don’t make it part of their lifestyle. Many people have been surprised when they hear of my success with having a Learning Disability. People will say “But your so smart or “You don’t look like you have a disability. Few people understand that having a disability is a journey not a destination. Most people see the success but not the failures and the hidden climb it took to get me there.

Going on adventures is a favorite activity that my husband and I like to do. We like to find interesting places to visit and share them with people. Recently we chose to visit a road side attraction near us called the fountain of youth. We looked at the spring house and the steep hill with a creek. My husband asked me “Do you still want to do this?” A part of me wanted to go back to the butterfly bench that we went to before this. The path that the bench was on was smoother and more predictable. I decided to go ahead and go on with our journey.


The journey to get to the spring house reminded me of my journey with having a disability. The path was muddy and steep. I started out being able to put my hand on my husbands shoulder as we made our way down the steep path. Eventually though I had to walk by myself as the path got more treacherous. At times having a disability has made me stand alone. Many times people didn’t want to be my friend because I was different. Other times I had to stand alone and make choices that didn’t make sense to others. People couldn’t understand why certain classes or job choices were hard for me. Often jobs or classes that came easy to other people were challenging to me. I had to know what choices were going to work for me and to utilize the accommodations to help me.

My husband did guide me on where to turn my foot, but I had to walk it myself. I took slow cautious steps thinking of where to put my feet. At one point I had to use my hands to bear crawl through the mud. Many of these moves are what I do in my group fitness classes. He was also impressed when I stood in the creek. One little bank later and we came to our stop. We explored the attraction and the way back was much easier.

I could have looked at how hard the journey was and walked away. If I wouldn’t have done it I would have missed out on the experience. So many times people don’t want to try something because of the fear of failing. Failure is part of being successful. The key is learning from your mistakes and finding a better way to do something.

Deciding what course to take does involve wisdom. There are plenty of things that I wanted to be or to do that I simply can’t do. However there are far more things that I can do and all I need to do is find a way to do them. The course may not always be easy but the experience is so worth it.

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