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How I Turned My Disability into Desirability with a Simple Perspective Change

“Life has no limitations, except the ones you make.” ~Les Brown

I was affected by the deadly poliovirus when I was six months old. Most people infected with it die. Even today, there is no cure for it. I miraculously survived, but lost my ability to walk.

During the first twenty years of my life, I evolved through crawling on the floor, lifting my leg with my hands, wearing prosthetics, using canes, and finally learning to walk, painfully, with crutches. As I grew up, I experienced post-polio syndrome, which weakened the other parts of my body.

Some forty-five years ago, there were no educational or medical facilities in the remote area of India where I lived. That slimmed my chances of getting any education. When I reached the age to go to school, the only way possible was to wear prosthetic braces weighing forty-five pounds on my leg, which was more than my weight. It was incredibly painful to walk while wearing them. In those braces, I could barely take one baby step at a time.

Experiencing Victim Mode

The result was me being , left behind, and teased by my classmates all the time. There were times when I had to drag my iron-casted leg back home alone for over a mile using the strength of my stomach muscles. It used to take me two hours, which felt like a lifetime. That cycle repeated for many years, and my emotional pain grew more and more.

Every time, I asked, “Why me?” The more I asked, the more unpleasant the answers got in my mind.

Stepping into Fighter Mode

That misery got me into a fighter mode. I remember that many of the motivational books I read stressed one thing: “Break the walls.” So I secretly subjected myself to the harshest physical exercises, torturing myself, hoping someday I would get better at my

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