Lessons of the Paralympics

As usual I’ve been watching tv with my mom when I visit her to bring her lunch and dinner.

During the Winter Olympics she would sometimes get up in the night to watch opening or closing ceremonies, given the time difference.

Yesterday I helped her find the CBC broadcasts of the Paralympics. The French channel broadcasts from 1:00 to 3:00, then at 3:00 one can then switch to the English channel. My mom doesn’t care what language they’re speaking, as it’s hard for her to understand in either of our official languages.

We watched Canada beating Republic of Korea in hockey.

One of James Dunn’s three goals, a blur entering the net above the Korean goalie’s shoulder.

My mom is capable of slowly walking with her walker for awhile each day, doing her physiotherapy exercises. But mostly she was sitting beside me in her wheelchair.

As we watched James Dunn get his hat-trick in a 6-0 triumph, I giggled. Finally! After all these years, we were watching hockey together, something that never interested her before.

My mom looked at the way they were playing, the limits of their movements. It was great to hear her recognition that those guys are amazing in what they can do, as she said “I shouldn’t complain about what I can’t do.”

We watched cross-country skiing, marveling at their speed and agility.

We discussed the weight of the curling rock, how difficult it must be for anyone to throw it, let alone someone with the challenges of the competitors we watched on the broadcast.

I explained how the sport of curling works. It’s not just hockey, we’ve never watched curling together either.

It was a day of insights. We talked about how difficult it is for the physio-therapist who encourages her or any patient to go past their limits, enduring pain.

She remarked that it is hard for us, when her children try to get her to endure discomfort.

You don’t win popularity contests making people go “ouch”, even if that’s what helps keep you going.

This entry was posted in Food, Health and Nutrition, My mother, Personal ruminations & essays, Sports and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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