This season, my favorite pro dancer, Derek Hough, has a very unique partner. Amy Purdy.
Amy is an athlete, but lost her legs when she was 19 from Menengitis. She competed at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics as a snowboarder. Which... has some unique challenges. However, I was really glad she was paired with Derek. He's incredible talented and creative, and if anyone can work with her situation, he can.
I didn't want to be a huge fan of Amy and Derek. Not because they aren't awesome, but because I felt that it would be too cliche. The disabled girl loves the disabled girl on DWTS. Lame.
But I can't help it. Especially when it's Disney night and she does a beautiful waltz to "This is Love" from Cinderella. Her being paired with Derek doesn't hurt either since he's fantastic. (Obviously, since I've been fangirling about him this entire post.) The thing is, I can relate to her. I have both of my legs, so I don't know exactly what she's going through. However, I can relate to an extent.
Last night she cried about how discouraged she was about not having the right kind of legs. How what could be so simple for other people are incredibly difficult and she couldn't get it right.
When I was in college, one of my theology professors would teach ballroom dancing lessons on Wednesday nights. It was a huge hit with my circle of friends. More often than not I would go down to the Cougar Den with them and watch everyone dance. It was so much fun, but I always kind of wished I could dance with them. I have decent rhythm and such, but with my own physical challenges, dancing really isn't in the cards for my list of great skills. One of my friends promised he'd waltz with me someday. We never were able to, but I appreciated the thought.
Watching Amy and Derek dance makes me so happy. How, while I will most likely never be in the arms of Derek Hough in a ballgown waltzing to a Disney song, it's nice to know anything is possible. You can watch last night's video here. I really hope she goes far in the show. But I also hope she goes far because she deserves it, not because she's the "disabled girl."
When I was planning on writing this post, I wanted to talk about overcoming obstacles and how anything can happen. Which is true. But then... I had a rough day today, and it had to do with my disability. (Which, if you don't know about it, here's my post explaining everything.) My own insecurities came out, and I had to deal with some things which I hate talking about and feel like shouldn't even be an issue.
It reminded me how while anything is possible, it's still a battle.
It's a battle to do what other people think is easy. It's a battle having to prove yourself every single day. It's a battle to not be bothered by ignorance. It's a battle to let it go.
Most days, it's not a battle. Most days it's fine and it's not a thing.
Other days... it is. And it's exhausting because it'll never really stop.
There are times when you're dancing with Derek Hough and everyone calls you an inspiration. Then there are other days where... not so much. And that's okay.