Hang-gliding anyone?

Why are those with disabilities who climb vertical cliffs, go hang gliding, drag themselves to cloud shrouded mountain summits (usually accompanied by able-bodied minders) praised to the Heavens.

Why are those with physical disabilities who take up competitive sport seen as role models for disabled people. The wheelchair athlete who can get round the track in ? seconds and wins a medal is lauded - we never hear of the wheelchair using person who is holding down a job, running a home and bringing up the children.

I’ve no problem with any disabled person doing any activity or sport but why are the ultra sporty held up as superior to us lesser mortals who chug along at own own pace.

No one seems interested in my modest swims or my time on the exercise bike — I could get an inferior complex.

Is it a case of the more ‘normal’ activities we do the more society in general is happier with us?

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perhaps if your swims and stationary cycling were more ‘ultra’ than ‘modest’, you too might feature on the cover of the local Gazzette?

i think you have answered your own contention.

the more you exceed the constraints of social expectation, the more likely you will find yourself receiving praise.

Don’t do heights I’m afraid, but do hold the record for the number of marshmallows pushed up the nose of a spaniel left handed while on a pogo stick in Wellingtons listening to Blackstone Cherry in a Latvian translation…


This needs to be on Youtube

Actually my imagination is sufficiently vivid.

Thanks for the giggle

nah not today thanks cos i will shower and dress which will take about 3 hours.

i would bow/courtsey but i cant!

mogace-u sound like my kind of gal!



Ellie,thanks for the comment, I might be sensitive but I am definitely a bloke!

I can tell, because my competitive side says “I can dress and shower in only 2 hours,victory is mine”

I have stopped racing 80+ year olds with walkers because I always lose

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just sent u pm!

i lost with walker too but i beat them in my powerchair!


but Paulo I don’t want to feel I have to exceed the constraints of social expectation.

Because who sets the level of social expectation - is it the fit and able who are slowly ‘pressurising’ the disabled to behave like them?

I totally get what you mean krakowian, I was watching a tiny bit of the wheelchair marathon racers in the New York marathon at the weekend (I say a tiny bit because I don’t watch sport on TV but the OH does). It’s always a case of ‘aren’t they wonderful’ when I feel I’ve achieved something simply by getting up and maybe doing 10 minutes worth of very basic exercises and walked the length of the kitchen with the help of FES and a walker.

Why do we need to achieve something that the ‘normal’ world can recognise as superior in order to be applauded for our more hum drum accomplishments?

Those people who manage to work and raise children whilst having MS deserve much more praise than they get. And simply being able to swim and / or use an exercise bike should be applauded.


(although I loved Carraboys award winning achievement too!)

Krakowian - I love the stuck up barstewards setting their standards, I know what to avoid. Like the ole gal looking down at your kid cause he’s having a shit fit in Morrison’s. Like she hasn’t been there ! Lines drawn I feel must be crossed

Why thank you :wink:

Carraboy - you on something??

Sue - thanks - I think the danger is that many disabled people will be undervalued unless they are seen to be doing some ‘amazing’ physical activity.

What annoys me is that when disabled people do these sporty or physical challenges they are always managed by the able-bodied. There seems to be this small group of able-bodied people who see their role in life as looking after the disabled.

Bit like my local MS Society who is run by people who don’t have MS - (they go off on sponsored bike rides periodically!)

Ha ! Regrettably no. Never have either. Unless you count Yellow bellies… My wife reckons she wants to see me drunk !!! Really ?? Like I don’t talk enough squit when I’m sober !!!

Just as well really!!!

I dont think of myself as normal. Im not normal as I cant do what most normal` people do.

But then I am extraordinary…cos Im me…I am unique…and so is everyone else.

Praise the abnormal!


The way I look at it is that every story about a “Yummy Mummy” with SPMS who has raised 27 kids, takes the youngest to school, runs a half marathon before lunch, bakes a cake, picks up the youngest from school, paints a couple of landscapes before she cooks the evening meal , (you get the idea), actually rubbishes all those of us who do normal things despite our MS.

Three page inspirational stories in MS Matters do nothing for me. They will not cure my dropped foot. They will not stop me making a lot of typos - and spending much time correcting them. They will not get rid of the tremor in my left hand. They leave me cold.

Tell me about someone who goes on doing an ordinary job, day after day, without complaining (except on here), and that is inspirational. I’m with kracowian



If anyone fancies a spot of hang gliding, then this is the place to start.

Best be aware that height is safety and it’s only the ground that kills you.

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thanks Doctor G

The serious thing I think is that gradually an unrealistic expectation is put on some people with disabilities to the extent that if they are not climbing mountains or performing amazing physical skills they are seen as failing.

And I’m always a bit concerned about these able-bodied folk who attach themselves to disabled groups with the sole purpose of getting them doing what the able-bodied do. Of course some disabled people want to do these things but some may not and those who don’t are in danger of becoming second rate disabled.

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I am sorry but I really am having trouble understanding the arguments put forward by Dr G and Krakowian here.

Do “normal” people look at the achievements of Mo Farrah and think that they now have “an unrealistic expectation” put on them because they can’t run as fast as he can? Do “ordinary” people look at Nadiya from Great British Bake Off and go into despair because they will never sculpt a white chocolate peacock? No, they are interested in what they do, appreciate their talent and skill and - sometimes - might be inspired to try something that pushes them a bit whether it is a fun run or knocking out a tray of rock cakes.

What concerns me is that some people on this site appear to have the mind set that, because 1 disabled person is only physically able to do something that is quite “normal” with great effort ALL disabled people should be judged against that standard and be grateful that they can do that and not try to do more themselves. If somebody has disability it doesn’t mean that they can’t have personal targets or ambitions - whether it is getting out of bed and dressed in less than 3 hours or climbing Mt Kilimanjaro! Anyone who challenges those ambitions and targets is worthy of our appreciation.

And further, don’t put me in a disabled ghetto either. If I really want to do something but I need some help to do it I am not going to turn down assistance if it comes from somebody who is not disabled. Some people on here seem to think that people with disabilities are being coerced and forced into route marches up Ben Nevis whether they want to or not just to make able bodied volunteers feel better about themselves (or for even more suspicious hidden agendas).

There are many people who post on his forum who I have great admiration for and I find their stories inspiring and thought provoking. Some of them seem to be in a worse position than me and others seem better off but it’s how they deal with the hand of cards life has dealt them that is relevant to me. Conversely, there are other forum members who I could cheerfully slap because of the poor mouth they put on everything.

I was reading an e-book recently by the blogger “Stumbling in Flats” and she tells the story of attending her local MS Society Group and being politely asked not to return because her attitude about life was “too positive” and was upsetting other attendees. Some people do seem to fall into the reassurance of low expectations when they diagnosed and embrace the label of “poor disabled person” with open arms! As my Mother in Law would say about miserable people she knew locally “she never enjoyed GOOD health”