Able people’s reaction to the disabled

Airwave! Member Posts: 2,458

I have done many sports over the years and do many activities, when I enquire about activities for the disabled I find a very odd reaction and certainly not a positive one. It’s usually, ‘ well go to the back and try and keep up and do what you can’ or similar.There are literally none that are led by people with any understanding of what it means to be disabled or who know how to lead a group and the best way to exercise for us. My local gym won’t even take me on.

Does anyone train to do exercise classes and. training for the disabled? Is there a national list of trainers and activities?


  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,739
    edited 5. Dec 2020, 21:54

    Sorry, one of my long posts I’m afraid ...

    I wonder whether the reason for lack of people in this field is that the range of impaired abilities is so huge, that it’s hard to devise classes that would suit enough people to form a group. The fact that the range of exercises on this site is tailored to so many different conditions is a good illustration.

    I can totally empathise with the “well, just do what you can” mentality. It’s an awful attitude, it’s dismissive and belittling. My former pilates teacher was great at getting round this, she would set two or three versions of each exercise, as she knew she had quite a range of medical conditions in the class, and we never felt pressured to do the hardest version all the time.

    Even before the OA kicked in, I was totally rubbish at all sports at school, I was always the last to be picked for any teams, and just generally tried to stay out of harm’s way. So long as the teachers could see I was at least getting a bit of exercise pointlessly running about they left me alone. I have zero hand to eye coordination, poor balance, and a dislike of falling over. I couldn’t do a head over heels till I was about 12. (I suspect I have an inner ear problem), but I was very bendy, so I used to gross everyone out in gym by tying myself in knots. it was all I could do.

    It was a constant source of humiliation, and I heaved a huge sigh of relief when I left school as I would never again have to suffer “games”, and refuse to be shamed by people saying “I’m sure you could do it if you tried”. The last person who tried that one on me when I was in my 30s got my response from both barrels!

    But I was good at other stuff at school, and I was the only one who went up mountains for our holidays (this was back in the 1960s/1970s) so my self esteem wasn’t on the floor all the time. Until the OA got hold, the mountains were still my greatest joy.

    These days, I set my own goals. I’m not interested in what other people measure me by, I’m not interested in matching other people’s achievements. I do still challenge myself, but I’m not hard on myself if I “fail”, it means I set my goals too high, or I’m having a bad day, but I haven’t “failed”. Now I take the view that main thing is to do what’s right for your condition to give you the best chance of improving and maintaining mobility and pain relief. It will change from day to day, but every little helps, and I take pleasure in even small achievements.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,236

    Usually it's a case of joining in with the classes for the older age group I found Airwave . Or modifying what l do when I did go say to a yoga class. I haven't been to any classes since Lucy got ill and of course since COVID who knows what it's like at gyms.

    I do have one or two friends who have paid for personal trainers to help, but l suspect you are looking at maybe (sorry if I am wrong) sport rather than just exercise?

    In our Town (not our village) they were doing 'walking football' for older people I think.

    So I just manage on my own going for daily walks here in the village. Luckily I enjoy that.

  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,458

    Tried the short walks, yoga and tai chi lately, couldn’t keep, oh and wild swimming, I’m excellent at floating but shoulders can’t propel me.

    There must be a a job here for a whole tribe of instructors and all their relatives as well, come on someone get in there!

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,236

    Wild swimming!!! Airwave get you that is really brave😮 I bet your bones just loved that freezing water!

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    Strangely people speak to me when I am out in my mobility scooter but tend to either ignore or stare when I am in my wheelchair.

  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,458

    Might be the dark glasses, do they connect them with a ‘Godfather’ figure! 😂😂😂😂

    pits a grin, honest!

  • Jean1234
    Jean1234 Member Posts: 10

    Aww love your page I can relate to a lot of it bless you and well done love n hugs x