March 9th, 2009

misc - nazi triangle

Childhood heroes

I guess everybody has heroes in their childhood. One of my biggest, and longest lasting, is Jill Kinmont, the young skiier who broke her neck while preparing for a big event prior to racing in the Olympics. They made a couple of TV movies about her, and over the years I've followed her story.

After her accident paralyzed her from the shoulders down, Jill made a life for herself.

She went to college, got her teaching degree, married, and has LIVED a full life. She recently retired from teaching, but is still an incredibly active person.

When I first contemplated getting my first wheelchair, I went through some emotional changes. But Jill Kinmont stood out in my mind as proof that a wheelchair isn't a prison, that it can be a true blessing. That you can still be a worthwhile person, even if you're disabled.

So here I am, some thirty years after I first heard of Jill, and I decided to see if her phone number was listed.

And I just got off the phone with an incredibly gracious woman who I felt the overwhelming urge to thank for her impact on my life.

I feel good.