“I like the way you move” ~ Bodyrockers
Or, as defined by my dictionary
Move (vb): to go from one place to another, to be in motion
I like the way I move. More specifically, I like the way I walk.
Being the sot of person who would almost rather vote UKIP than admit I like something about myself, saying that is rather a big deal. (I will never vote UKIP).
For the longest time how I walk is something I genuinely and unequivocally have liked about myself. And yes, I am very aware of what a privilege it is. Being raised in a Roman Catholic household I have assisted people less able-bodied than myself on more than one pilgrimage to Lourdes. My own mother is now so afflicted by Multiple Sclerosis that she is chair and bed-bound. My last memory of walking with her unaided is over 30 years old. For these reasons and others, I do not take the freedom my walk gives me lightly. It’s a blessing and, yes, a privilege.
Other people have liked my walk, some people have found it attractive, more than one has found it annoying. Be that as it may, my like for my walk has not wavered.
I don’t like my walk merely for the attention it garners me, though sometimes the attention is nice. I like that I can physically do it. I can hold my head high, I can power my limbs and I’m off. To wherever the road may take me.
I have walked down catwalks, I have walked out on to stages. I have walked in to difficult hospital appointments and I have walked out of bad situations.
Bad situations themselves helped shaped my walk. Growing up, I went to the wrong school for my village. I wore different clothes. I was weird. I was a geek. And, in a tale as old as time itself, I was bullied. The usual mocking comments at break, the insults shouted at me across the street. “Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Yeah, right. I developed a confident pose to look like those taunts didn’t bother me even as I was sobbing inside. Eighteen months ago I received some feedback in a training session that made me never want to move again. A year ago, I caught sight of someone I thought of as a friend mocking how I moved and others laughing. It hurt. It still hurts.
This walk of mine, this way I move, it’s one of the only things I’ve got. I refer you back to the start there; it’s one of the only things I’ve got that I like. Dislike it, dislike me, by all means, that’s your right. But just know that when you criticise or mock that particular part of me, you cut me right to my core.
What’s interesting is that for several months I lost that core. I had an operation on my foot last year and consequently I was not walking. My recovery has been slow for reasons unknown and even though I should now be fully recovered I’m not. My central defining part of me is missing and I want it back.
It’s eating away at me. I burn to walk, to throw myself into a journey, an adventure; to feel fully physically me once more. It’s my thinking time, my exercise, my announcement to the world that I’m here.
In the meantime, I will go slowly through the world. I’ll try to find other things to like about myself. And I’ll continue to not vote UKIP.