SPORTS, FITNESS & DANCE

Discovering That I'm Not Disabled

Cerebral Palsy (CP)

James Shaw

My story of living with Cerebral Palsy

I was born 8 weeks early, breached, and with the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck preventing my breathing during birth; this caused me to have a condition called Cerebral Palsy.

Doctors warned my parents I may be unable to walk, hold myself up, or even breathe on my own.  And although my way of walking is throwing my legs about until I eventually fall over, I manage and have learned over a long hard period of time to embrace being in a wheelchair as it's given me the opportunity to be a professional wheelchair tennis player, and prove the doctors wrong.

In school I always felt inferior to other people; well of cause I did as I couldn't run around and do everything my classmates did. This made me extremely competitive as I wanted to prove to others that I could be good at something, anything really, so I tried every sport, musical instrument, and after school class under the sun, but always quit as I wasn't good at it right away so I pressumed it must be down to my Cerebral Palsy, which caused shyness and bouts of depression throughout my teenage and early adult life, to the point where I could barely talk to people without a stutter or feeling anxious.  

My parents pushed me with wheelchair tennis and in 2013 I met my current coach who asked me why I acted so disabled, and gave up so easily, as it was clear he saw more in me than I saw in myself. Every day after this date my coach reminds me to train like I'm not disabled and if I physically can't do something we'll find out why, and if it is my condition stopping me we'll make adaptions, but to this date we haven't had to adapt my training due to my condition, apart from the use of a wheelchair :-P. I'm now a 4 time national champion and am ranked 13 in the world due to the fact that over the years my body has become much stronger, my outlook on life has improved, and my confidence has grown greatly to the point where I am now able to speak in front of 100s of people about my story, without stuttering or feeling anxious.

"Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm."

Others may not believe you can achieve something, and at times you won't, but I've proven to you that with the right mind set you can achieve what you want in life.

EMPOWER OTHERS!

Share this story to help change someone's life

WELCOME TO YOOCAN

THE GLOBAL COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITY FOR SHARING EXPERIENCES AND KNOWLEDGE BY AND FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, SO NO ONE FEELS ALONE.

BY CREATING AN ACCOUNT YOU AGREE TO THE TERMS OF SERVICE ANDPRIVACY POLICY.

Please provide your name to be displayed in the chat room.