Disabled Girls Who Lift

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E15: Disability Representation Matters

February 10th 2020
In this episode, our hosts Marybeth and Marcia discuss why representation matters for womxn with disabilities. We share a few amazing stories from our listeners and feedback we received for the past 1... More
This is disabled girls who lift. We are reclaiming what's rightfully ours. One podcast at a time. It's mary beth Chloe and Marcia bringing you the thoughts and unpopular topics to get you out of that. A bliss comfort zone. Mm hmm. Okay. Hello! Hello guys, welcome back. Thanks for tuning into our show. Happy four month anniversary of disabled girls who lift. My name is Marsha. I'm from south Florida. Has it really been four months California? So today's episode. We just wanted to take a little time and appreciate our listeners because we always say representation matters. You always say these conversations are important, but I mean on your end you might not get all the feedback that we're getting. So we wanted to share some, but of course we still want our DNS to be open our emails to be open to people to be feeling free to share whatever they want with us. So I'm not going to disclose anybody's handles or tags or names except for one that actually did get consent for.

So that's the disclaimer for that. So we did want to shout out our latest monthly contributor. So if you haven't noticed guys, you can click the length for anchor to support our podcast and be a monthly contributor. So we wanted to shout out our latest one cat because not only did she sign up to contribute, she shared her personal story with us, which I think is pretty cool. And so I wanted to share with you guys. And if you want to follow her cute little kittens on the instagram. She's at jumbo kittens. So she's a powerlifter, she trains with terry, maybe you know her at terri boo 6 to 1 and she told cat about our instagram and so mind you, cat is 37 she's never really identified as a disabled person. Why? Because she was born with club feet and she had her surgical corrections. So otherwise to the normal person, her walking around, she's a normal quote unquote normal normal person too.

But even though she looked fine, she has always still had chronic pain, the general joint problems, mobility issues, but to everyone else that's been invisible, they've never seen that. So lately I think she said about two years ago she got new braces that basically helped her move her foot and her ankle around better and she's the most capable she feels in her entire life the most mobile she feels in her entire life. But now for the first time people can see her disability and for her it's like she's coming out of the closet and it's kind of unpacking a whole bunch of, you know, there's a lot of baggage to unpack when your whole life, you kind of just didn't deal with it. So I really appreciate that she shared that story because to her, hearing us talk about our issues, having are different guests on talking about their relationships and interactions. The fact that we're candid were unapologetic, we don't give a funk, we're going to say what we want to say and that really moves people is amazing.

So thank you cat at jumbo kittens for sharing your story. Thank you for allowing us to share our story with our listeners also, because you never know who needs to hear what you're going through to help them get through their own thing, you know? Exactly. Oh my gosh, and don't ever apologize for sharing your personal story, especially if it's been a lifelong process of questioning yourself. Um I know that's actually how Marcie and I started this thing. She would send me her own DMX and say like, I don't even know if I consider myself as disabled and that was when, you know, invisible disabilities weren't getting as much rep as now and you know, even if you go through all these surgeries go through, take pain medications, whatever it is that you do, um, you know, considering yourself disabled doesn't have to be a bad thing. I know some of us try to use, I don't know other terminology, like differently abled or, but we've kind of, we've gotten ahold of that, reclaim that word for ourselves and not seen it as a negative thing because of what we're able to do with it.

Our capability doesn't change because of that title. And I think that's a lot of where the struggle comes because when someone here is disabled, they think, okay old dude in a mobility scooter, okay, he has that big clunky van, Oh you need all the space for the handicapped spot like, oh you just stay at home all day, somebody wipes your ass and like that's not the picture, that's not it. But even then it's really funny because like there are so many able bodied people who are like, well I'm not disabled, I don't need to worry about that or I don't Center my life for my company or my rules and my laws against people with disabilities, but you really should because everybody will become disabled at some point in their life. You know, even if that's not at 80 or 90 years old, like anything can happen and you have to consider somebody with a wheelchair somebody that walks around on crutches or you know, like everybody, yeah, everybody, it's everybody all the time.

You never know, you never know what's gonna happen to you because you can get into a car accident, you can have some crazy flu. You could have, you know, dengue fever and next thing you know, you have some weird as transverse myelitis and your hands don't close anymore. Like you never know. So get off your uppity abled high horse because like this this life is short and fragile. So like just you might as well take the time to be like, all right, who's out here, Oh, they look different. Okay, cool. Like that's it, it's not that hard, not that hard and it's still, you know, like everybody has, they go through their own process and when you're first diagnosed as something new or you know, it's because disabilities have such a bad rap because chronic illnesses have such a bad rap, you automatically think that your life is over. You think that it's done for you, but like looking at all these other people online, like this community that we've built or at least starting to have conversations with, it helps that mentality, it helps to break that stigma.

That like look at these bad bitches doing Strongman, just out here existing, crazy and like alive starting families, whatever it is that you want to do, fucking swimming out in the ocean. What? Yeah, exactly. Nobody with a spinal cord injury is going to ever picture themselves, you know, from what we, what we decide as a society is disabled and what parent paralysis means. They're not going to picture themselves like Vanessa can do swimming in the ocean. You know? They're not going to picture themselves like the, like the dancing girls, what's their, what's their little group called? Chelsea's group, I forgot the actual group's name. Yeah, Roll, let's nobody's going to picture themselves as role. It's like hooking killing it with some dance moves, like nobody is that they just make sure like looking out a window and being sad and just like not not thriving, right? And I love too that it's not just we don't just show like what we do in sports, like our prs and we also show the struggle of having to or they also show the struggle of having a take their wheelchair all over the place, how to like put gas in their car when they're on a road trip to a competition, you know, um because it doesn't have to be a hassle or you know, this is just everybody's normal lives.

Yeah. So you're not painting a picture of okay, I'm disabled. So I have to be said and I can't thrive anymore, but we're also not picturing the unrealistic picture of okay. So what you can do anything you want it like, yeah, sure anything is possible. Like this is still going to be hard. It's okay. And if you do have those days where you, where it is depressive and you do want to stay inside, like that's true to that ship happens to everybody. Exactly. And it's um, so bringing up this story about how she said herself is invisible to everybody. It just reminded me of something. So I don't know if you missed it on, on my quad squad, um, instagram, I posted like a quote that was like stop assuming health based on size and then some, some white guys got in there and they felt some type of way and ignorant fucking ship for days it went on for days, they were so butt hurt. But like these people really exist and they really think these things like he really felt like, oh if somebody is offended that you tell them they lost weight, that's their fault.

Oh you can tell if somebody's on chemo oh you can tell if somebody's unhealthy like no you can't, you can't, you can't tell and on the outside, no, it's all on the onset. So when you're dealing with an invisible illness and you know, in all reality like I'm not gonna get any better, you know, there's no get well soon like this is it. So when you're dealing with that every day and there are people out there just invalidating it just saying, oh no, they're fine. You can tell there's always light at the end of the tunnel. Like I used to say that and I'm like, nah I can't, I can't do that anymore because for many people there isn't and there's just a way that they're able to adapt to it. Like live their lives with their illness and that's probably fine. There doesn't have to be a light. Maybe something lighter than dark. There's always a dimmer switch at the end of the oh gosh, that's so much Down 2% at 75. Oh actually answered you too sorry.

That's like a dimmer switches for the life. Um and I do and I do appreciate also that we've been getting so many conversations started about so many different things because there are people that well message us and say, you know, I don't even work out, I don't even lift, I don't even exercise, but I'm super excited to hear you guys talking about spoon ease, just like the representation of the variation of disabilities invisible or not. And I love that we've been able to find these days dope, ask guests who, by the way, if you're ever a guest on our podcast, you will forever be a part of our family and our community. So you're always welcome back. Um we love hearing about you know how you live your dailies. We love about the interactions that you go through um with your daughter's in the gym, you know, just going out to the grocery store, whatever, but it it helps represent our listeners and that's literally what every companies should do work on their representation very intentionally and if that means you know, multiple disabilities, varying body sizes, um races and ethnicities, everything.

Exactly. And that's that's kind of what's the point of this podcast is that we're not just here. I mean, you know, disability awareness isn't that great already, right? So on top of that you as a disabled person, you want to find somewhere where you feel like you belong and you can connect with. So you know this is not just an inspiration porn site like this is this isn't just you know, this isn't just like a shoutout page, like no this is supposed to be meaningful. So when you guys send us messages and when you guys just share stories, share our post to your, you know, to your instagram story and say, hey, this episode was awesome, You guys should listen to this. Like all of those things mean so much I cry and even if it's in A. D. M. You know, obviously we won't share your names or your handle like Marcela said, but like knowing that there are other people out there with our a knowing that there are other spoon ease or you know, we get stories about um we have, you know, we recently got a story about her spinal injury and scoliosis and it's great to hear that even we're not alone.

We keep saying that you're not alone, but then yeah, we're not alone and everybody's dealing with. You know, like we always say everybody's story is different, but when you find these commonalities you can, you know, you can you can go home and you can go home, you can lay in your bed at night and you're like, okay, I'm not fucking crazy, this is this is this is stuff that happens and some of it's not okay, like okay, you know, like the the person that DM does about scoliosis, the biggest thing she was like, my doctor said it's okay for me to lift and I get so much hate, I get so many comments that people are like, you shouldn't do that, you're gonna hurt yourself and it's like, no, we're not broken, we're capable, we got this. And sometimes even from coaches right? Like a coach, um you know, can look at you and say, I don't know if you're coachable and that could be the biggest heartbreak ever because you're already taking the time out to get the funk out of your house to pay for a gym membership, to pay for a personal trainer and they're going to just look at your back and say that you can't lift like that, That must be crushing.

I cannot. So thank you guys always, always and forever for sharing your stories. And the thing you mentioned about coaches too is like, I hope that we can help coaches also realize how this affects somebody's life entirely and they're lifting because there are people out there and I talked to them and I've met them and you know, they'll ask me like, okay, how do you do your programming and like what do you do about this? What do you do about that? Because my coach doesn't really get it or you know, my coach gets frustrated if I tell him that I don't feel good, he tells me it's all in my head, these conversations are happening between us and everybody needs to get into the loop. We have to get on that same page. Yeah, exactly. And then even hearing outside of our sport really big, you know, organizations like wheel wad and how it grew from something so small and now they have adaptive training classes for pTS that want to teach people crossfit or strong men like, so you know what it's actually like to coach person with a disability, somebody with CS, um S.

C. I. Or you know, someone with a limb difference or anything like that. There are tours. Yeah. Yeah. I think that's that's a part of starting the conversation and getting ourselves out there is that we're going to bring able bodied people in because I mean, we're existing together. You know, we're not excluding ourselves were if anything, we're bringing ourselves up. And I think that's the other thing that I'm really happy that people get the point of our podcast is that we're not trying to it's kind of like, I don't know if you ever see a post where somebody says like, oh, good morning to black women today, you guys have a nice day and somebody will comment like, oh, what about about Yeah, what about hispanic women? Like no. You know, like it's that that sort of thing where somebody says uh you know, women supporting women and they'll say, well what about this? And that like, no, we're not excluding ourselves, We're not trying to set ourselves apart. We're not trying to be divisive. Exactly. We're literally a segment of this population that gets shipped on and we're trying to bring ourselves up.

Yeah. And I'm really glad you mentioned that? Because like there's always people who are like, oh, what about disabled men who lived? Or what about people who aren't disabled? Like you're allowed to follow us. You're allowed to listen to podcasts. And I do love hearing the stories of people without disabilities who still have some, you know, common interest when we talk about Um, you know, intersectionality and you know, unpacking all of the crazy childhood experiences. Um, my own coach who followed me who who's been by my side for almost 77 years um you know, had very similar experiences of being a filipino trying to assimilate with um, you know, the latino latino community that he grew up around or forgetting how to speak your native tongue, like little things like that. It could be for you. But what we're trying to do is center the conversation around women with disabilities.

It doesn't mean we're excluding everybody else's, but once we center that conversation, um everything else just falls into line because one year accessible one, you're talking about everybody else that's constantly forgotten and like everything else just falls into place. Exactly. And just in case somebody thought it wasn't clear trans women are women were including all of that also. And if you happen to be non non binary, like that's cool, you can vibe with this too. We happen to identify as a gender, but that doesn't exclude those that don't. And and we talk about fake feminism. We talked about quote unquote white feminism that doesn't provide intersectionality ease to others. You know, um, we try very hard to talk about body positivity and just everything else. But sometimes we make mistakes. You know, we try not to generalize disabilities and say one size fits all.

So we still try and showcase that everyone is unique in their own way. Everybody has their own experiences. But there's something that we we catch off, correct us. Yeah. Yeah. Call us out. We're fine with it. And that that happens to me on on my on my businesses all the time and I'm fine with that. You know, I might get a D. M. That's like, hey, you said your for all bodies on quad squad but like your shirt only goes to two X. Like damn you're sucking right? Thank you. Because it's like if you're doing something for people and you can't accept people's feedback, what are you doing? It doesn't make sense. So yeah, definitely. If you hear something, you're like, I don't know guys, that's fine. We could talk about it and we'll bring it up. We'll hash it out. Like um, you know, last episode I was talking with Dana about coaching and whatever and she brought up some names and like later I listened to it. I was like mm mm cringe cringe.

What names, What are you talking about? I mean, you know, her daughter doesn't make squats program, which is awesome. She's moving she's doing something. It's affordable because I think it's like eight bucks a month. Like it doesn't cost anything but make squats is like problematic as fuck. Yeah. So like calls out for stuff like that call us out, you know, or if I say something that is offensive to people with mental health issues or you know, if you don't feel like we're being body positive enough, if you want to see some more brown bodies, you want to see this, you want to see that. Or if you have someone that you love to be on the show or you want to be on the show, we're open. We're open to everything. It's a learning process for everyone. So as we're learning as we're progressing, our listeners are learning and progressing as well. Like when we put out that episode on how to treat your token disabled friend, how to fight tables and things like that. Like there are still people that say they come out of these um cultural sensitivity classes hella confused.

They come out of these like, you know, they're trying to do better and it's not working and and it's like, well maybe we need to change their framework. Maybe we do need to center our conversations around people of color black women, disabled people, trans people. Like once we change that framework and also be open to people's criticism and not take it personally, then you'll be fine. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Exactly. That's the key. That's the key to life. Take that with you wherever you go, stop taking ship personal, okay we're not perfect. So I think I think that was definitely another episode that did get a lot of um a lot of love, a lot of shout outs, a lot of shares and a lot of conversations going was that token disabled episode and that's from people with disability saying like yo this conversation about able ism right here like this makes sense like this this this is it and also people who have never heard the term like oh all right I guess I get it because even my own husband, I've tried to explain an inspiration for it to him like a million times sometimes you just need to hear like the right conversation and the right set of words for you just click like oh alright that makes sense.

Yeah. You know. Yeah. Yeah. I mean I think in the past or I mean even now people think of people with disabilities and they're like oh they get benefits, they get you know in front of the line passes they get handicap parking spots. They're lucky why there are so many handicapped parking spots and they're like embolism doesn't exist. What what even is able ism And it's like well if you see somebody that's in a wheelchair somewhere, if you see somebody that's missing a hand or like do you feel sorry for them? Do you feel as though you shouldn't like you're lucky because you are able bodied. There you go, that's able ism and then it's like, oh, I see myself as above you, you're okay, let's work on that and that. And I'm glad you brought that up because in that vein of able ism we also appreciate people reaching out to us saying, look, I saw this ship and it wasn't cool, can you help me figure this out? Because this that that happens a lot.

And like we've said before, when you encounter able ISM like not everybody is an activist, not everybody's rosa parks, you know, not everybody is there not everybody has that and we don't ask everyone to go out and be a crusader for justice. That's not everybody's role. But if you see something and you're like, I wish something could be done about this, tell us about it will help you out. That's fine. That's what that's what community does helps each other out, lift each other up and help each other out. We are advocates. Exactly yes. Did we get a response at all from that gym by the way for that? So for some of you who don't follow instagram or any of our personal page is the person that mars is talking about shared with us, uh parking sign outside of her gym that made her and of course her daughter feel uncomfortable who did have a disability, it was a picture of a wheelchair and said leg day parking here and what Marcy and I basically, you know told the gym was uh disabilities are not a punchline, you know this this is this is real, like that's like something toxic I think about the fitness industry and that they they think like one leg day or one super intense day which whatever keeps him in bed, they feel like they can joke around about being disabled and it's it's so unfair and gross.

So he asked them to remove it or we asked them to do a number of things at least be a lot more conscious about that kind of shit. She wrote them an actual letter and she didn't get a response either and I'm sorry that's not good enough and that's somebody's member of your gym remember. And her daughter too is like trying to get fit with a disability and you're making it not a safe space for her. What you're not taking that extra second to just think about because okay it requires it requires a lot, it requires a lot a lot of things that people don't give a sh it about self awareness, mindfulness, like nobody cares about that. Like it requires you to be self aware. Like I'm gonna walk into every space like okay I'm a black woman, I'm a spoon e a power lift, I just strong man, I'm not fat, I'm not trans, I don't understand what they go through, you know like I'm going to think about the things that I'm not a part of and how what I'm doing can affect them. So that requires a little level of self awareness, a little level of mindfulness.

Like you had to take a couple of minutes to be like okay I can walk on my two legs, I don't use a wheelchair. I wonder how a person in a wheelchair would think would think about this sign. And obviously they didn't do that ship because they put the sign up. Yeah. And like the stupid responses where it's like ah you know, comedy is so different now everybody's so sensitive, these social justice. No like S. J. W. S. E. C. I got to be some, see now I'm sorry you can't be a dick anymore. And it's not like we're attacking your your you know ability to comprehend, well sometimes we are but it's not like your person, we're not attacking your like who you are just like be more conscious, be more aware aware of like The stuff that you put out and this could be a learning experience for you because you probably would that sign, you know turned 2040 people away from your business.

And if you start showing that you are open to people with disabilities or you know inclusive or a safe space and maybe your business can actually fluctuate so you're welcome and you know I'm sorry, I'm sorry you can't be a dick anymore. I'm sorry that you now you have to be uncomfortable. Like really, really you'll be like you'll be okay like what come on and it's two different types of discomfort, uncomfortable, like ah you kind of wedge in your seat a little bit versus uncomfortable to the mother and the child who's trying to lift with the disability and like probably quits for the month because of you because you know your sign was very hurtful or very demeaning or what have you like what the fuck? Those are very, very different levels of discomfort. So listeners again, always thank you. We love you able bodied trans, non binary, non binary fat fin black, white in a chair walking.

We don't give a sh it. Listen to us, Love us, we love you. Talk to us share your stories, you need to bust down some doors, we'll bust them down with you. Pretty scary. Good, good. Exactly, I want you to think of disabled people and being intimidated yet because we are out here. Alright, disabled girls out. Thanks for listening to disabled girls who left. We appreciate all of your support and everyone who's taken the time to show us some love. Don't forget to subscribe rate already. Review of our channel, we're on Apple podcasts, Spotify player, FM, google podcasts and more. You can also find us on instagram at disabled girls who left

E15: Disability Representation Matters
E15: Disability Representation Matters
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