Don’t say I’m inspiring unless I actually inspired you.
There is a lot of talk in disabled sport about inspiration. Someone will complete a race and people will gush about how inspiring the display has been and how much this person has overcome, but what does that mean? What good is accomplished by simply calling someone inspiring, I think it’s a far overused word. Simply being a crippled kid doing a sport I love is nothing inspiring at all, I’m just like a million other people doing a hobby or sport they love.
The difference, the only way I feel worthy of being an inspiration, is if someone looks at what I have done and decides to put in the hard work to become a better athlete or a better person. That is true inspiration, to look at what has been done and making the effort to become better.
Even more importantly, I would feel that my efforts and time in cycling had not been completely selfish if one kid with a disability looks at what I have done and realizes the barrier to sport is just another obstacle to be overcome and goes on to lead a healthy, active lifestyle they may once have thought unattainable. I would love to be the catalyst behind some child going on to win a Paralympic Gold medal, but being the nudge towards a more healthy lifestyle is the sort inspiration I want to be.