By Amber Morgan
Hello, my name is Amber Morgan. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a disabled person. I have Cerebral Palsy. I am also a trans person. I am a trans woman. I am also a local athlete. I am a runner. I race in a wheelchair alongside other wheelchair racers and runners on foot. I have also been an activist locally and on the state level for the LGBTQ community, the mental health community, and my disabled community.
What I want to mention in this blog post is my work being a disabled athlete here in the North Country. I started my running journey 3 years ago.
I was really struggling with my depression and where I fit in. A friend talked to me because they really noticed this and felt very uncomfortable with seeing the path I was taking.
We talked and my friend suggested I get involved in sports, especially running. So I started. I only had a hospital style wheelchair not built for running or going quickly. I trained for a bit but I wasn’t consistent. So with some encouragement from other friends I decided I was going to sign up for my first race … the Burlington Color Run. I did that race which was a lot of fun. It was fun because you get powdered paint thrown at you at paint stations you run through.
That next year I signed up and ran 12 races having the same wheelchair. I knew I needed a new, better, more fitting chair that would enable me to run faster and easier. I worked with a few friends to get the wheelchair and got it this past June. That June I signed up for my first major race and 5k. I signed up for the Friehofer’s Run for Women in Albany.
This is a 5k where there is everyone from around the world elite runners down to runners like me just the casual runner. I finished that race and earned myself a personal best time by twenty minutes.
Why am I sharing this? Well simple. This race is my hardest race to date. The first mile and a half was all uphill. It was a challenge … a huge challenge way over my head. I took that challenge on.
Living a disabled life we have challenges.
We have obstacles or things we have to overcome. Life isn’t easy but at the end of the day we need to keep pushing. Keep fighting. Push on through those obstacles so that when we cross our own finish lines just not in a race we can be happy. We can rest our head on our pillow at night in bed knowing that we pushed our limits to test. We can show people that despite our disabilities we can do amazing things.