Though I was crushed to realize that dating within LPA would be just as much of a struggle as it had been during my teenage years, I was relieved to discover that dwarfism wasn't the end all and be all of who I am. Other personal characteristics had a much stronger impact of defining who I was as a person.
The realization wasn't nearly as significant, but an experience I had a few days ago reminded me of my epiphany as a 20-year-old. Since Sunday, I've been in East Lansing, Michigan for the World Dwarf Games, an international competition that happens every four years. Around 400 athletes from more than 15 countries are participating in the games. I signed up for four sports -- soccer, basketball, ping pong and boccia. Two days ago, I met my basketball team for the first time. The coaches, not knowing any of our abilities, immediately threw us into a three on three scrimmage. After watching us for a few minutes, they stopped the scrimmage and assigned us positions. I was assigned to play guard. In Chicago, I've played a pick up basketball game with the same group of average stature people for more than 10 years. We play every Saturday. Because every other player has at least a foot on me, I always play guard. Two days ago, practicing basketball with other little people, it was thrilling to realize that what is true for me in basketball among average stature players, is also true among players with dwarfism.
|USA Team 3 with a few friends, including Tom Izzo.|
For more on the World Dwarf Games, check out this website and this BBC Blog Post from Simon Minty.