I can’t stress enough how important education and learning is for someone with muscular dystrophy. The brain is not a muscle. The brain can continue to flourish despite a decline in physical strength. The brain gets you jobs, paychecks, even dates. Learning is extremely important.
Growing up I had a great balance of physical and mental activity. I was in a regular school with regular kids. I participated in every regular gym class until high school where I probably could have been in regular gym class but actually liked the smaller adaptive gym class because we got to walk off campus to places like McDonalds. Regular gym classes didn’t do that. Outside of school I had fun riding my bike and playing tennis.
But it has been my mental skills which have sustained me the most. I wasn’t thrilled by school but I did the work. I liked mental competitions like math and spelling contests. When I realized these were the things I could beat the other kids at, it didn’t matter that I couldn’t beat them at a running race.
My early education got me into honors classes in high school. Those classes led to getting accepted to Stanford. That Stanford education led me to start a business and was a huge help in getting contracts over other companies. If I ever need to get another job, that degree will be a great asset to help me stand out from the crowd.
One of the things my mom did when I was in junior high was get me into summer math camps. It was usually a short term, few hours a day sort of thing, but it was much different and more exciting than school. It led me to get excited about what I was learning and that excitement continues today.
Everyone is good at something, so I highly recommend exploring many different things to discover what that thing is. I also do not recommend overloading your time with only academic pursuits. It is important to stay as active as possible for as long as possible. But it is important to know what is more important — education.
Just remember this — nobody ever puts “Presidential Fitness Award Winner” on their job resumes when they are older.