Why you’re disabled, and what to do about it

I have a metatarsal stress fracture in my right foot.

I got it by ignoring pain after two runs at home, and then for some reason keeping a running date I had at the South by Southwest conference two weeks ago with Matt Frazier and Tyler Tervooren. I kept that date despite the fact that even walking felt wrong, and I kept running despite the sharp pain I felt as the three of us began.

And now, thanks to my awesome choices, I can’t run on this foot for at least a few more weeks — but probably more like a month, or even more. I’ve lost all of my running, which I’d come to really enjoy and which kept my blood sugars so neatly in line. I may lose my conditioning, and be starting months back when I’m able to eventually resume. And despite training through a long Ohio winter, I may even miss the marathon.

But really, it doesn’t matter.

I’m injured. That’s a fact.

You may be poor. Or in a bad relationship. Or sick. Or paralyzed. Or desperate. Or in a terrible, terrible crisis. Those are facts.

None of it matters, just like my injury doesn’t matter.

As my friend W. Mitchell says, “It’s not what happens to you that matters. It’s what you do with it.” He’d know. He was burned to within an inch of his life. Then in a fit of either irony or fuck-you, he started a wood-burning stove business. Then the universe explained that it doesn’t like fuck-yous by crashing his plane and putting him into a wheelchair.

Mitchell says that what happened to him doesn’t matter. Where he is is where he is. Who he is is who he is. What he has is what he has. Only his future matters. Only what he does next has any relevance.

And me? I’ve got an injury.

It doesn’t matter.

Come with me on a rant, will you?

What “disabled” means

Being “disabled” means that you can’t do one specific task in the way that the majority of people do it.

That’s all.

It doesn’t mean “unable to walk.” It doesn’t mean “unable to see.” It means that if you take one specific thing, anyone who can’t do that is disabled with regard to that one specific thing.

I’m totally disabled when it comes to car repair.

You think that the guy pushing the wheelchair around with his hands is “disabled,” as a blanket statement. But that’s not specific enough. Most likely, he’s only disabled with regard to his legs.

But that guy has to move himself between wheelchair and bed, bed and armchair, wheelchair and toilet and shower. How strong do you think his arms are?

He’s probably looking at you, thinking about you and your poor disabled arms.

Think about it. You’re a little disabled every time someone is better than you at something.

Why aren’t bad artists called disabled? After all, they can’t draw. Jessica Blinkhorn’s artistic ability makes everyone look downright crippled where drawing is concerned.

Why aren’t dumb people called disabled? After all, they can’t think.

You may disabled when it comes to dollars in the bank. Or emotional well-being.

And I’m currently temporarily disabled when it comes to running.

So we’re all disabled. Put the first premise together with this one and you’ll also see that it doesn’t matter.

You’re disabled, and it just doesn’t matter.

The question is, What are you going to do about it?

Funny that you should ask.

How to kick the asses of your shortcomings

My method of dealing with my own individual disabilities isn’t for everyone, because we’re all different. But since I’m the one writing, I’ll tell you how I’m planning to handle my own little setback, and how I’ve handled one in the past.

Step 1: Take stock

Ask: What do you have?

Stop thinking so much about what you don’t have. When you don’t have money, it’s natural to be totally consumed with not having money. If you’ve just gotten divorced, it’s easy to only think about how you don’t have a spouse anymore. If you have cancer or lost an arm, nobody would fault you for thinking about all of the health or ability you’ve lost, but try not to dwell on what you’re missing or what you’ve lost. Instead, ask what you still have.

Warren MacDonald, always an outdoorsman, found that he still had a strong upper body after losing most of both legs in a climbing accident. He could also have prosthetics made for his missing legs to suit pretty much whatever specifications he wanted, meaning that his newer, shorter legs could have all sorts of abilities. One of these was to have crampons (ice spikes) where his knees used to be. And with these remaining abilities, Warren asked a rhetorical question: Why couldn’t he climb rocks and frozen waterfalls? People figured a double-amputee wouldn’t do that kind of thing, but he certainly could if he wanted to. He’d have to do it differently, but he could do it.

In my case, I still can’t totally walk without a limp and can’t imagine running. But that’s about it. I can do anything that doesn’t involve repetitive foot impacts, and that’s a hell of a lot of stuff.

Step 2: See your limitations as fucking awesome

When Warren lost his lower legs, he also lost two feet in height. Which meant that he could now tuck into much smaller places on the rocks. He could bivouac in places that a full-size person couldn’t.

Warren adds he also gets “rockstar parking.”

Jon Morrow, who has spinal muscular atrophy and hence extremely limited mobility, told me that he can get away with things I never could because nobody will yell at a guy in a wheelchair. And Jon takes advantage of this liberty. He loves to piss people off and stir controversy, and does it constantly — to his business and financial advantage. (Jon also says that he never, ever has to wait in line anywhere. A pretty sweet plus.)

This is sometimes called “reframing,” and yes, at times it may feel bogus, but take the advantages where you see them. Have bad credit? Awesome. Then you won’t have to sweat ruining it if you run out of what little money you have. Sick? Shit, you’re going to get so much sympathy. In jail? I hear chicks dig a bad boy.

Your terrible situation has some advantages, I guarantee it. Things won’t improve if you pretend there aren’t any advantages, so you might as well find and enjoy them.

Step 3: Find a way to maximize what you ARE able to do

Your goal here is to become the biggest badass you can become in whatever it is that you’re able to do. If all you have is one arm, figure out the most ridiculously over-the-top thing a person with only one arm can do. I’m thinking 1-arm planches or something (look it up). If all you can do is think, then become a master of memory, or a sort of super mental filing cabinet like Hannibal Lechter was in the book version of Hannibal. Either of those things would be fucking awesome.

You start coming up with this stuff, and it starts getting really fun — and that’s the entire point. Having some kind of a setback or bad situation or injury or disability sucks when you look at the negative. You feel like a victim, like someone who got kicked in the nuts by life. But when you start planning ways to be superhuman with what remains, it puts you right back in control. You don’t feel like less. You start to believe that you could be more.

Forget keeping up with others; you’ll flat-out kick some ass.

And by the way, it doesn’t matter if you find that you can’t actually do what you’re setting out to do. You’ll get part of the way at least, and it’s momentum that matters.

My own examples

Technically, I’ve had at least three big events of this type, but the first one is less badass than the others and so I won’t give it. (But for the sake of completeness, the one I’m excluding is developing diabetes at 13. It did force me into better health, but I didn’t set out to become “super liver man” or something in the absence of pancreatic function.)

A few years ago, I broke my left forearm. Specifically, I snapped the radius between my knee and a barbell when I caught an Olympic clean with my elbows too low. It took this weird angle and I remember being sort of disgusted, but I also remember being unable to take my headphones out because I couldn’t let go of my arm. I had to ask someone at the gym to do it so that I could talk to them.

Rehab to full function was something like six months. At the time, this was a bitch because I liked doing stuff that involved heavy weights that were sometimes moving quickly, and all of that was out. I’d also been doing gymnastics, and you can’t do handsprings on a broken arm either.

So I took inventory. All I’d lost was one arm, and it was my left, which isn’t my dominant side. I had one good arm, two good legs, and all of the rest of my physical and mental faculties.

I decided that this would be a good time to try the Smolov Squat Cycle, a Russian powerlifting progression that has a reputation as being a punisher. I also decided I’d ignore advice about creating muscle imbalances and beat the hell out of my other arm. 1-arm chinups? Awesome. 1-arm pushups? Hell yeah. Maybe 1-arm handstands… or handstand pushups, even? Because that’d be cool. And just to demonstrate that the sky’s the limit, how fucking awesome would it be if I could learn to do this?

Of course, I didn’t get anywhere near those skills, but I did finish the Smolov Cycle and was creeping closer to some of the other stuff. Maybe if I’d lost my left arm, I’d be doing those things today, but alas I got “abled” again in 6 months and eventually settled for full function.

That’s today.

I wanted to run this marathon, but I got a stress fracture. I’m out for at least another month, which means I may miss the marathon. Which is really annoying. I thought: Will I lose all of my conditioning? Will I ever be able to run 20 miles again? Will this mess up my blood sugar control? Will I gain weight?

Which is total bullshit, really. So I decided I’d do two things: Train for a cycle century (100 miles on a bike), and also see what I can do yoga-wise. I’m hardly a Yogi, but I really enjoy yoga and am getting reasonably good at intermediate stuff. And now I’ve got a bunch of new time to work on it… and how awesome would it be to be able to do this? Or this? Or this? Or fucking THIS?

Not that I expect to be able to do those things in the short term, or possibly ever. But I’d like to strive toward them. I’d like to try.

Next time you think you’re limited in some way, maybe look at giving this “badass mastery” strategy a shot. My examples are physical, but they needn’t be. You could learn chess. You could take up a foreign language or learn an instrument. You could study business and moneymaking as if it were a science and become a savant on the topic. You could study the psychology of relationships or influence or interaction.

Just set out to do something awesome. Become the biggest badass you can be about something.

Try it sometime. It doesn’t matter where you are, and it doesn’t even really matter if you accomplish the badassery you’re striving for. All that matters is that you’re moving. That you’re not a victim. That your focus is on going out and taking what you want.

You’re in control, and everything remains a choice. The downside is that the responsibility for who you are, what you do, and what you become is all in your hands. You can no longer lean on an excuse, ever.

But just think of the upsides.


  1. Johnny,

    Totally love this post. I wholeheartedly support reframing. I’ve had some bad stuff happen, but who hasn’t? Can’t sit and dwell…not the kind of life I want.

    I’m totally inspired by Jon Morrow. I love how he deals with his limited mobility and messes with people. Love how he embraces his power and kicks some serious ass. He inspires me to strive for more.

    And yeah, you’re pretty inspiring yourself, Johnny! 🙂

    Rock on gentlemen,

    • Johnny says:

      Jon is the original badass! I seriously think he could beat me at racquetball. He’d figure out a way, and then he’d also be a total asshole about it, like, “HAHA loser!” 🙂

  2. Hey Johnny,

    I’ve been a reader for a while but this is my first post. This post is awesome and I wanted to comment.

    Reframing often does feel bogus at first. It’s a fake it til you make it kind of thing. Some people are turned off by the idea right away because they hate the whole self-help, be positive culture and believe reframing falls into that category. Man, it’s so much deeper than that!

    It’s an intentional decisions to make the most out of life rather than live in a funk. That’s the part that a lot of people miss. It’s an actual decision to alter your internal state and just be OK. Not because it’s true, but simply because it’s more useful to be that way.

    Anyway, those are my two cents!


    • Johnny says:

      Exactly. Who cares if it feels fake? Would you rather feel good while believing bullshit or feel bad while dwelling on stuff that you can’t change anyway? If you can’t change it, I say bring on the bullshit. Let’s at least try to move forward.

  3. Karim says:

    Hey Johnny,

    That’s a cool reminder for anyone who thinks he or she doesn’t have what it takes to be ‘great.’ There are so much possibilities, just endless, and this makes it a double edged fact: either we fall on our advantages, or get stuck in our disadvantages; it all depends how we look at things, our mindset.

    We tend to look at others. Sometimes I look at how someone does something, and I suggest to myself: “but he could do that, oh and that! And why the hell doesn’t he do this instead of…” and it goes on.
    But fortunately, many times it makes me look at what I was doing myself. It remembers me that it’s too easy to say “look at yourself before you look at others,” just like “judge yourself before you judge others,” and the reality is it’s not always evident, depending on how we are looking at things and people.

    Lately I saw many specialists write ‘rants.’ Because they are not happy about how starters do things. Those specialists can’t help it, it’s so clear to them it’s painful, I don’t blame them for that… well, better say that very lately, I don’t blame them anymore, for one single reason: I had to look at myself and ask: what was I doing about it? Was I doing something better? Was I already helping people as much as I decided in the first place? The answer was no. A big disappointing no!

    So I’m starting to see things clearer and clearer everyday, and I think that a good way for me to do it, is looking at what others are not always able to do, and see if I can offer help to make things more… complete. It takes a bunch of things to make a world so… it’s an excellent opportunity to RE-DEFINE the meaning of being disabled.

    This subject you are talking about, Johnny, is huge, and what’s even bigger is your cool deep insight in such a sensible subject.

    PS: a wink for all the badass super artists that make all this thinking possible, kudos to you all!


    • Johnny says:

      Thanks man! And you’re right. “Inspirational” people don’t often go out and try to be inspirational. They do normal life, and THAT is inspiring. Which is pretty damn cool when you think about it.

  4. Alison says:

    I’m prompted to write because I’m also nursing a metatarsal stress fracture. My sympathies. Very frustrating, because I love running and I love dance aerobics, but they’re definitely what did it. It takes a while to figure out alternatives. So far I have put on weight and lost fitness (and beware – I cycle but a long bike ride still puts too much pressure on the toe). Your post is nudging me into trying to find something that will maintain fitness without creating any more problems.

    It’s also kind of a stupid injury because it looks very minor but has lots of consequences (like not walking far). Even as I start complaining, part of my brain gets embarrassed by the whingeing.

    I’m off to invent upper-body Zumba.

    • Johnny says:

      I’m going to see how it goes… I have my bike in a stationary trainer now and did an hour the other day without incident, so we’ll see what happens. If it’s a problem, I’ll just find something else.

      I also did some boxing today. Was probably moving around on my feet more than I should have, but that part isn’t necessary anyway. And 5 rounds on a heavy bag will kick your ass!

  5. Yes we all have some limits..some more then others..but it up to us to really over come them and get back on the high saddle horse..leave the excuse at home..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • Johnny says:

      I so can’t even use many excuses anymore after working with the Badasses. And it’s hard to not be able to do that, but I guess the payoff is worth it.

  6. Jess C. says:

    I miss having excuses… They were fluffy little pillows that protected me from having to own my abilities, or the slackadaisical execution thereof.

    Now I have to actually make shit happen when I want it. Light my own fires. Run my own races. Rewarding as it may be, I gotta say it was easier when it was something or someone else’s fault when I didn’t get what I wanted.

    Of course, it was a lot less fun, too.

    Great post. Sorry your foot is still actin’ a foo’…

    • Johnny says:

      Stupid foot. It’s what I get for wearing the “I’m a Badass” version of the shirt. Karma, I tell you.

  7. Magz says:

    Totally LOVED this post Johnny!!
    10 yrs ago I had cancer and they told me I had 2 yrs to live.
    (Guess what…they were wrong! LOL)
    But seriously, through that experience, I had to re-frame so many parts of my life.

    It can be easy to backslide though, once you get used to a situation or if a ‘disablity’ resolves or gets better.
    This post was a great reminder to kick myself in the butt and get a kick-a** attitiude again!


    • Johnny says:

      That’s fucking sweet! Congratulations on that whole “staying alive” thing. I’ll bet it makes you question just about everything presented to you as fact.

  8. Regarding “Step 2,” you may want to check out a blog post that I wrote a few days ago, entitled “Why it’s Awesome to be a Double Amputee.” http://bit.ly/hy4djL

    Loved the article, definitely agreed with it.

    • Johnny says:

      Dude, that is one of the awesomest posts ever. I tweeted it out. And yeah — we’ve gotta talk, you and I.

  9. Jackie says:

    I was lucky enough to break my arms multiple times as a kid, because (after I whined and felt sorry for myself for a few hours the first time) I realized that so what, I’ve got another arm. I don’t let crap get in my way, at least not for long. Also, while we’re all disabled in some areas, we’re all super ENabled in other areas. So, good news 🙂

    • Johnny says:

      I did learn when I broke my arm how useful that second one is. That was an interesting learning experience. I now appreciate them all so much more! But yeah, talk about redundancy.

  10. Nigel Chua says:

    This is a rock solid post, and I love the way you (re)framed (dis)abilities and challenges! I am a hand therapist by training, and I deal a lot with people with injuries, and I constantly have to show people that they still have so much more, than just focusing on the one injury (though some do have horrendous injuries).

    But I like this post.

    I agree that we are all disabled in much areas that we’re weak at, but, on the other side, we are SUPER ENABLED with other God given talents, skills and strengths that we can leverage with.

    Sweet retort on your friend’s taking advantage of his situation – don’t we do that all the time? Just that we dont talk about it all the time, we just do it. Silently and stealthily. And if/when anyone finds out, we just smile. Or tell them fuck-you. =p

    • Johnny says:

      Right, I totally agree… it should always be about what you DO have, and the Badasses I’ve talked to get that completely. What’s crazy is that most “able-bodied” people don’t get it, despite having more by most definitions. It’s as if you have to have a disability to understand how much you have, which is crazy. But it’s what seems to happen.

      • Nigel Chua says:

        Perhaps it’s within people who take things for granted – they think that all “should” be alright, and all things should be smooth. I kinda figured that it those who had “lost” things are those who truly try to not take things for granted, and to appreciate it more.

        Perhaps that is why people who have love love, had broken down marriages, failed businesses (assuming they don’t kill themselves first but perhaps learn the lessons behind it) that will ultimately create the love of their lives, restore broken marriages and bounce back with million dollar businesses!

        I don’t think that this mindset, this perspective, is something that can be taught. Education will not be able to solve this, if it could, it’d been solved eons ago. This is wisdom that can only be gained by losing something precious, and taking the time and will to learn.


  11. James Clear says:

    This is a great read, Johnny.

    Obviously, my main takeaway is that being disabled simply a reference to one task and not life in general.

    That said, I had no clue you were into such awesome physical stuff. We should talk more! I spent all last summer training for Olympic lifting in Columbus and I’ve tried my hand at pretty much every training method – Olympic, powerlifting, strongman, grip strength, swimming, you get the point. (The two that have escaped me thus far are running a marathon and CrossFit.)

    Anyway, cool stuff, great read, and keep up the good work with your training. 🙂

    • Johnny says:

      Yeah, I’m into a ton of stuff! I’d like to try my hand at parkour and breakdancing too, but that’s not anything I’ve done yet. I’ve done Crossfit quite a bit but fell off the wagon when I started various new things. The cool part is that if you fall off with one thing, there’s plenty left to work on.

  12. Great post! Very encouraging … thank you!
    After almost dying and almost losing my leg in an accident … I was sucked into a vortex of depression for a time because living with pain, limitations and a deformed leg made me feel like I went from a young, active 38 year old to a disabled 80 year old.

    Counselors helped me realize I had a choice in how I responded to my circumstances. And this quote from Roosevelt became my mantra,
    “Do what you can, where you are, with that you have.”

    I began doing that … and step by step I recovered better than the doctors ever imagined. I not only walk without a limp, but I began biking and then running again (which had been vital to my life pre-accident)

    Next week I’m doing a half-marathon – yes!

    • Johnny says:

      That’s pretty sweet… goes to show you that doctors don’t always know it all, and I think they predict to the lowest denominator too, in the way schools have to teach at the lowest level in the class. Who knows what the “stars” will be able to do?

  13. katie says:

    awesome. awesome awesome awesome. i needed to read this right now. thanks for a very timely post!

  14. Rebecca Kellogg says:

    Good luck, Johnny.

    Every time a new muscle man comes into my yoga class, it’s fun to see how long they last. Sometimes it’s ten minutes, sometimes it’s thirty. My friend has a theory that the more muscular a guy is, the harder it is for him to get some of the stretches right.

    On the other hand, there are a few guys who come every week and seem to do okay. And some of them clearly do weights as well as yoga. I wonder what the difference is between the men who can’t make it through a single class and the ones that hit their stride.

    • Johnny says:

      You know, that’s a common perception… that muscle can’t go with flexibility. But the counter-argument is to look at how some bodybuilders will do routines with full splits in them and whatnot. It’s not that the two can’t go together; it’s that they usually don’t because a lot of people who just want to “get big” don’t work on it, and doing all that contraction work leaves muscles short. Same as how a lot of men who go to gyms work on the front of their upper torsos by doing a lot of bench pressing and curls, and neglect their back half — and end up all pulled forward and imbalanced.

      I’m pretty flexible, I think, and the past few years doing yoga has definitely had a lot to do with that. And also, I hear that real men do yoga.

  15. Alan Ashwood says:

    Nothing to do with the article, coz I haven’t read it yet (I will I promise).

    The photo reminded me of a true story.

    I live in the wildest secret part of England’s West Country. Around her the locals tend to look after ‘stuff’ themselves, rather than waking up the local law enforcement.
    It may be the reason why this is “the best place in England to bring up children” (Daily Mail, 2010, we have the lowest crime rate in the country, and the lowest drug problem.

    Anyroad, the photo.

    Just a few miles from where I live there is a DIY supplies store. It stands in its own ground, and due to the hilly terrain, the customer car parking is elevated about 20 feet above ground level, with gravel slopes to all sides – Except One (remember this)!

    The store is owned by a local ‘character’. Very nice guy, but takes no prisoners.
    As the car parking is difficult to access for disabled customers, he carefully constructed a special disabled area, close to the doors, with a cleverly constructed slope and handrailed stairway to assist access.

    Above this space he placed a large sign saying “If You Are Not Disabled – Don’t Park Here – Or You Will Be”.

    According to local folklore, he noticed that one individual ALWAYS parked in the Disabled Space, even when the other 20 odd spaces were empty.
    So – he left a series of notes on the encumbents windscreen.

    Note 1. “Please refrain from parking here as you’re not a customer of our store and the space is allocated to Disabled Customers”.

    Note 2. “I apologise. You obviously are disabled,as you’re possibly short sighted. Then (in 4″ letters) DON’T BLOODY PARK HERE COZ WE HAVE HUMANS WHO NEED THE SPACE. IF YOU PERSIST, YOU WILL BE DEALT WITH.

    Note 3. (Left in space where car WAS parked. (In 6” letters) “TOLD YOU, inconsiderate bastard!”

    Now I said “was”. While the driver was in the town centre, the stores owner got his JCB (digger), and ‘moved’ the offending vehicle across the car park and off the edge of the car park.

    Remember I said “except one”?

    He pushed the car off the non sloped edge – 35 foot drop into a stream!

    No further action was taken – and the driver didn’t block the disabled space ever again!

    (You should see what they do with drug dealers round here).

    I must say though, this is a wonderful place to live. You just obey Forest Law.

  16. Patti says:

    Thanks. I’ve been disabled since November. I’m a triathlete and will have to DNF my first half ironman this year. I’ve already missed several races that were run only. I can’t run. But I’m becoming a badass swimmer and cyclist. It’s super easy to get depressed and feel sorry for yourself. It’s much harder to suck it up and move on. I’d rather take the hard way. So what if I can’t run.

    • Johnny says:

      What is it that’s stopped you from running? I’m just curious whether this will be a permanent change for you or a temporary one.

      Either way, you’ve got it right… who cares?

      • Patti says:

        I have tendonitis of my ankle and also IT band issues. I could run through the IT band issues but the tendonitis is WAY too painful. I took a month off and started ramping up my running again. Everything was peachy and then the day after a 7 mile SLOW run, BOOM, it was very painful again.

        I love triathlons more than anything in my life. (Note I said THING not people). I will leave no stone unturned to heal my body.

  17. kelly says:

    Thanks so much for this post. I just found out yesterday (after 8 weeks of pain and physical therapy) that I actually have a stress fracture on my pubic bone and not a groin pull, as originally diagnosed. I had to drop out of my first marathon and haven’t run since since February. To say I’ve been going nuts is an understatement. I needed this post to kick me in the ass. Thank you.

    • Johnny says:

      I’ll bet you can bike! And if not, there’s a bunch of other stuff you can do.

      I miss running, but it’s hard to feel too sorry for myself when I know it’s just a few months of inconvenience.

      • kelly says:

        I am going to see the orthopedic doctor this afternoon. I was a competitive swimmer throughout middle school, high school and college, so I am crossing my fingers that swimming is okay, as well as biking. I’m a huge fan of spinning and I have my eye on a few bike races. Here’s to hoping we’re both pounding the pavement sooner rather than later. Thanks again.

        • Johnny says:

          I have a really hard time imagining that swimming wouldn’t be okay! It’s the therapeutic exercise prescribed for EVERYTHING, it seems. Good luck!

  18. Steve Gee says:

    So… I Googled “what do you do that you’re disabled Fucker”. Well I left off the fucker part. And you came up. I’m permanently disabled. No more construction, and I dig working with the tools. I was able to pull off a Sprint Tri. But I faked my way through it. I was doing Half Irons. Top of my game the whole shot. Then a complete ruptured aorta.. Sorta deadly for a lot of folks and really slowed me down, put me down on one knee. So it’s been a little over two years and yet to accept it. Trying to find the New Steve. Not much has helped yet. I’m going to give your strategy a chance and check back in a bit and tell you how it goes. Thanks Bro, we all need to belong to something.

    • Johnny says:

      I know it probably sounds trite and like a cliche, but the important thing is that you don’t give up, no matter what you’re dealt. And you’re doing that. So I guess… keep doing it. Keep kicking ass.

  19. Charmain Wiggers says:

    I am battling some “poor me” blues today which seem to come pretty often when I allow myself to think about how absolutely worthless my days have all become. Hours turn into days and days into weeks and life continues on with little variation. Someday it doesn’t bother me except on the days that I am in constant pain and am forced out of zombie state. Then I wonder what exactly is my purpose to keep on taking up valuable space in this world? So I just typed in the search engine to see if there were any answers and I came across your article. Excellent advice and encouragement. However, I have a question that wasn’t even answered when I didn’t have an ankle that was fused and the opposite knee giving problems and that is how can I find what I still have when I didn’t even know int the first place what I did have? When I was feeling good and had a good job as a CNA and was able to raise my two daughters comfortably…I wasn’t really good at anything. I didn’t have any hobbies. SO how do I find out now what I am good at when I didn’t even know back before all the surgeries?

    • Johnny says:

      I think you can only try things and find out. You could try writing, any art you can do, working with other people on various projects (remember, you don’t have to be the literal hands on any project), etc. It’ll take experimentation, but the key is to just not give up.

  20. Steve Gee says:

    Hey Johnny BadAss. Just checking back. It’s still a roller coaster but I’m kickin ass wherever I can MY way. Thanks for the post.


  1. […] Why you’re disabled, and what to do about it “Having some kind of a setback or bad situation or injury or disability sucks when you look at the negative. You feel like a victim, like someone who got kicked in the nuts by life. But when you start planning ways to be superhuman with what remains, it puts you right back in control. You don’t feel like less. You start to believe that you could be more.” ~Johnny B. Truant […]

  2. […] B. Truant makes the internet awesome. In his latest post he explains how to think about all of your current limitations. Yes, you have limitations, Johnny explains why this can be a very good thing. In his one-of-a-kind […]

  3. […] blog, you’ll definitely find those two types of articles, so I agree with Natalie 110%. Johnny had this to say about creating great content: “By my definition, [great content] […]

  4. […] And Johnny B. Truant finishes the cure with “Why you’re disabled, and what to do about it”. […]

  5. […] Why You're Disabled, and What to Do About It — Johnny B. Truant […]