My physical issue is at the structural level and I certainly am not going to sit here and compare myself to someone differently-able but I wonder how to really classify myself. However it is important to note I was born with a deformed left hip. On a structural level the hip joint is critical to motion. My family and I found this out at young age, as an infant that couldn’t take two steps without falling over I had to receive an Osteotomy in order to stand on my own and eventually learn how to walk.
I received my first introduction to water training as an infant post surgery. My father inspired my determination at a young age to take on great challenges in the face of adversity. Together we spent hours in the pool learning how to kick and swim all to strengthen my leg muscles enough to support my own weight. With this new found dedication and perseverance I grew up to play little league baseball, football during recess with school mates and eventually collegiate tennis. During my adolescence I never experienced set-backs with my hip. Doctors and family must have presumed that because I was so active that any issue of injury was not a possibility. Surely at various ages of development I should have received follow up X-rays and exams to check the development of the joint and maybe that would have aided in the preservation of the cartilage in the deformed hip. Alas it is impossible to say what could have, or what would have been different. I don’t believe in playing the “what if” game.