Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My Childhood with Muscular Dystrophy: School & Gym Class

When it comes to growing up with Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy at times it can add some unique challenges. As a child it didn’t take me that long to learn that there were a few things I simply couldn’t do. So in today’s post I wanted to take the time to share with you a few of my experiences from my childhood to help give you a better idea of what it was like for me growing up with Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy. First I must start by letting you know that I enjoyed my childhood and even though I faced a few challenges I was still able to join in with my friends and have a lot of fun. Now even though the focus of this blog post is on a few of the challenges I faced growing up my life was pretty good. Thankfully I was always able to keep a positive attitude about things including the difficulties I faced related to living with Muscular Dystrophy. The first place I faced a few challenges was in elementary school this mainly occurred during recess and especially in gym class. You see from an early age I knew I couldn’t run so many times growing up I was the one getting left behind always asking my friend to wait up. In school this led to more than a few challenges. In gym class it meant that simple running exercises were very difficult for me to complete as I was always the slowest runner in class. Every time we had a race I was guaranteed to the one who would end up finishing last. Not being able to keep up did lead to a lot of frustration as a child. To be honest my inability to keep up physically resulted in me at times not even wanting to go school. Thinking back I remember an experience I once had during gym class where the physical activity of the day included snow shoeing through the wooded area that surrounded our school. You might be wondering why I didn’t say something but at the time I was just 11 years old and I wasn’t fully aware of my limitations. Even if I knew what they were I was too shy and simply didn’t have the confidence to speak up. This is one of those times when learning the hard way was the theme of the day. So the next thing you know I am out in the middle of the woods struggling to keep up with my classmates. To make a long story short by the time we returned back to the school I could barely walk and was left feeling exhausted and weak. This was my first time experiencing muscle fatigue. After a few more challenging years of struggling through gym class a few of my teachers began to notice. Thankfully this led to me eventually being exempt from taking gym class something that went a long way in eliminating the issues I faced related to keeping up with other kids in school.

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