Honestly, I've never actually thought about a list of things I would specifically do if I wasn't in a wheelchair. Having a disability is the only reality I have ever known, and I am fortunate to have grown up surrounded by family and friends who've encouraged and allowed me the opportunity to experience great adventures. The wheelchair thing doesn't get in my way much.
But if my legs performed as they were intended, my Top Ten To-Do list would be partially based on things that I have had the opportunity to try, which I would love to do still, without a disability to contend with. I warn you, the honest to goodness never-been-done before things might prove duller than the things that I would love a disability-free crack at. In no particular order...
1. Skiing: I have gone skiing on a mono sit-ski in the past, and it was exhilarating. Sadly, my disability makes cold weather and snow difficult to contend with, so it isn't something I can do regularly. Quite a few of my friends are heavily into skiing, and I would love the opportunity to fly down the slopes with them.
2. Hiking: I have gone hiking in British Columbia several times through an organization called Community Recreation Initiatives Society in Kelowna; they specialize in adaptive outdoor adventures for people with disabilities. Hiking with them has provided me with some of the best, unforgettable times of my life. I'd love to be able to hike on my own two feet!
3. Dance: One of the only enduring misgivings I have is that my cerebral palsy (CP) prevents me from dancing. I have always been captivated by it. Contemporary, ballet, you name it. I wish my body could move with that kind of grace; maybe if it could I wouldn't be so awed by it. I'm small and petite. I have a body that a dancer dreams of. If I could, I'd dance until I dropped.
4. Walk: And by that I mean if I could, I would walk everywhere. No bus. No car. Just my feet on the pavement.
5. If I didn't have spastic CP feet, I would own oh-so-many more pairs of high heel shoes, backless shoes, basically all of the shoes I've always loved and never been able to wear.
6. I would a) travel, so much more and b) travel to locations I would never be able to experience properly in a wheelchair. I would tour Europe and visit castles and hidden nooks and crannies. I would go on walking tours and find remote regions everywhere I went. I would go to India, Thailand and so many other places I can't think of right now.
7. I would go to all of the best wheelchair inaccessible restaurants I could find.
8. Walk barefoot on wet grass.
9. It doesn't qualify as a specific thing, but I'd be interested to see how a lack of a disability would affect dating and romance.
10. I would totally jump on a trampoline on a regular basis. And try my hand at gymnastics.
What’s on your disability-free To-Do list? Share it in Comment box.
Layla Guse Salah
DT Network, Social Media Manager