This Ability (Disability)

I always love going to Dahican, Mati, Davao Oriental despite of the 3-4 hour drive from Davao City.  The clear blue sea, sky and the peace that you just feel from being away from the bustling city always make it worth the drive.

Dahican waves.

Aside from the beach, Dahican is famous for Skimboarding.  Skimboarding is similar to surfing but the main difference is you dont need to paddle out for the wave, you wait for the breaking wave at shore.  I have tried it a couple of times before, and I have not been successful at all!  It looks so easy, but it is not.  And knowing that it could potentially break some bones, I dont think I will ever try it again.  I just enjoy watching the people do it, most especially when Sonny Boy "Bayogyog" Aporbo is around.  He is a local in Mati who won (and keeps on winning) competitions both local and international events.

But this post is not about him or about Mati and its beauty.  This is about my colleague who eventually became a friend.  Let's just call her Yuri. 

Yuri was on a weekend trip to Dahican with her friends.  She really is not someone who would typically try out something daring.  But to my surprise, she did.  She tried skimboarding.

Yuri and her friends tried to learn how to skim for hours and they were enjoying it!  She had some slips here and there, but she actually was pretty good despite of it being her first time.  However, after doing dozens of tries, she lost her balance and landed on the wrong foot.  To makes things even worse, her friends does not know how to drive an automatic, so she drove all the way back to Davao City.  Good thing it was her left foot that was sprained.  (I was not there.  She just told me what happened and showed me the clips of herself and her friends having a good time.)

So when they got back, Yuri immediately went to the hospital to have her foot checked.  To her horror, it was not a simple sprain.  She actually fractured her foot and she needed a cast for at least 6 months.

Yuri went through a lot during the first few days and weeks of wearing a cast.  She still needed to go to work, but of course she could not do everything by herself.  She was depressed, frustrated, could not sleep well and was always worrying that her foot may not fully heal or that she might need surgery.  But as time passed by, I could see that she was getting stronger.

I see her everyday.  She drives herself going to and from the office, and walks with a big smile on her face.  She somehow exudes this light of positivity as if she's not broken at all.

Each and every single one of us have our own strengths and abilities but sometimes we take these for granted by not using it in its full potential, or not using it at all.  Then there are people who are physically disabled and yet they go out there making the most out of what they have.  The irony.  I know its not that simple as I do have my fair share of not doing my all. 

I have learned so much from Yuri's injury.  Being disabled does not mean we can no longer do meaningful things in life.  But rather, we just need to look at life from a different point of view and perhaps start doing things in a much more creative way and still be positive about life in general.  We just need to do whatever that we can, have trust and faith that we can move whatever mountain that is in front of us.

Just by simply changing the first syllable of the word "disability" already gives out a more positive message dont you think?  So lets go out there and show the world of "this ability"... no matter what it is.  I'm sure you guys will be hardcore. 


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