After I signed off, I felt depressed. The future seemed hopeless. I pictured myself ten years from now, grey-haired and wrinkled, doing my exercise routine every day. I talked to Eric about my conversation with David. To my surprise, he was nonchalant about it. Everybody had to do exercises to keep their muscles toned, he said. What? Then I wasn’t special after all?
A couple of days later, I was resting in bed. I was tired after a full day of exercises, writing, reading, and chatting with friends. My mind was shot. I couldn’t read or write. So, I lay in bed, my mind drifting, while I heard the usual sounds of Eric cooking in the kitchen. Then, it dawned on me: it wasn’t “everybody”; it was athletes that needed to train every day. Otherwise, they would lose muscle tone and be out of shape, and their performance would worsen. The result would be the defeat of their team, and likely the loss of their job. That meant that I didn’t have to act as if I were a disabled person – I had to act like an athlete. I had to focus on training every day to keep my muscle tone. The far-away future didn’t matter: if I expected my disability to disappear, I was a candidate for disappointment. Instead, I had to focus on the present: on doing my exercises every day. That way, I wouldn’t be waking up thinking, Not again! I would be welcoming another day of exercises with enthusiasm.