Cussedness Corner

"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane

Overcoming Limitations


I had polio when I was eight. Actually I was seven and just six weeks away from turning eight. The year was 1962. I remember vividly the day my legs failed me. The reasons that polio cripples is that it creates lesions on the spinal column.

My left leg atrophied. Mama hung soup cans on it and made me lift it. I would be in high school before I discovered proper leg weights to use on it.

I never stopped trying to cope with my disability and Mama never let me stop. She helped to teach me to walk and run and again.

My leg stayed cold as ice. It is still cold more often than warm.

As a young teenager, my physical therapist was also into karate and in an effort to persuade me to do the boring exercises, which by then I hated, he persuaded me to work with a sensei who was familiar with disabled people. I spent five years working with him.

It was not boring and my leg got strong. But it was never like the other one and never would be. He taught me a bit different than the others at times, showing me alternate ways to use my leg to get the effects I wanted. I have a form of drop foot, so I learned to land my kicks with the top of my foot instead of the bottom.

But I kept plugging away at it.

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One comment on “Overcoming Limitations

  1. Pingback: Westminster 1: An unhappy change « Cussedness’s Weblog

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This entry was posted on August 24, 2007 by in Janrae Frank, memoir.

Janrae Frank

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