Episode 39: Fitness and Disability

Emily: Hi, I’m Emily Ladau

Kyle: And I’m Kyle Khachadurian

Emily: And you’re listening to another episode of The Accessible Stall

Kyle: How are you, Emily?

Emily: I’m doing pretty solid! We haven’t recorded in a while

Kyle: You guys don’t know, but it’s been like a month…again!

Emily: That’s not to say that we haven’t talked in a month, but we haven’t recorded in a month

Kyle: Yeah, I mean…

Emily: We talk like everyday.

Kyle: That’s why we have that huge backlog that is now completely gone

Emily: We gotta start coming up with some original ideas

Kyle: Tweet us ideas

Emily: Tell us what you wanna hear us talk about for forty-five minutes

Kyle: Anyway, what are we gonna talk about today, Emily?

Emily: Oh, now we’re getting to the good stuff! So, we are gonna talk about staying fit while you’re disabled. And I do not mean this is a “self-helpy” kind of way. Like please do not think that we are actually gonna tell you how to stay fit.

Kyle: You mean like, physically fit?

Emily: Yes

Kyle: Oh, okay so…

Emily: Isn’t there that song from…the movie with the penguins?

(“I Like to Move It” by Reel to Real playing)

Kyle: Yeah, I was gonna splice it in. I’m going to splice it in actually.

(Emily laughs)

Kyle: And I’m gonna keep this of me saying that I’m gonna splice it in, also in

Emily: Is that meta? Is that the definition of meta?

Kyle: Yes. So how do you stay fit as a disabled person? A professional disabled person no less, Emily?

Emily: So I get this question a lot, and people seem very confused when I say that I exercise. And that may just be because I don’t look like it. I actually look like a blob (laughs)

Kyle: That’s so insulting, oh my God! No, if everyone ever…if I was ever in the room when that happens to you I’d punch somebody in the mouth for you.

(Emily laughs)

Kyle: That’s so insulting! Oh, really? Why?

Emily: (chuckles) I’m just insulting myself right now I don’t think that anybody’s ever assumed that I don’t exercise because of how I look. I just think that people always assume that I can take the easy way out. So, perfect example: When I go to the doctor they’re always like, “You know you should probably lose a little weight, but like also I know it’s really hard for you because you’re in a wheelchair.” And technically, yes. I don’t typically burn calories in the way that other people do, and I can’t really have a.. (starts laughing) You should see Kyle right now you guys, he totally just like, I don’t know flexed his muscles! Kyle has muscles guys. He’s actually pretty ripped.

Kyle: Oh no, no I’m not

Emily: He is.

Kyle: Yes, I am.

Emily: Ten out of ten, can confirm. Anyway, so um, Kyle’s ripped, I’m not…Oh! So people seem to give me some kind of free pass and think that exercise is too difficult for me. And even though I can’ slap on a FitBit and run up and down stairs and get my step count up for the day, I can still exercise. And I think that’s something people don’t realize is that there are ways to adapt exercise. So for me it’s a lot of seated workouts and stuff like that. But that also requires motivation

Kyle: Well, that’s the hardest part isn’t it?

(Emily chuckles)

Emily: How do you stay fit?

Kyle: Uh, I don’t, this is all a lie. Um…No, you mentioned a FitBit. I actually, I’m wearing one right now, uh but I will say, because you said that it made me think of something. The newest Apple Watch does have some kind of magic algorithm in it for wheelchair pushes. So it’s great if you use a manual chair. I don’t know if it works with a power chair, I don’t see how it could, you know Apple does that sort of thing where it just…

Emily: There’s literally no way it could work with a powerchair because you’re not making the pushing motion.

Kyle: Yeah I know. But you know Apple, they just do stuff.

Emily: (chuckles) I would get one of those, but I just don’t push myself around a lot. I use a powerchair to get around when I’m outside of the house, because otherwise I’d completely wreck my shoulders and my elbows.

Kyle: Yeah, I um..I’ve been running on my treadmill lately. I’ve been actually doing that regularly. I have actually developed a healthy habit for the first time in my life.

Emily: Oh my God, Mazeltov!

Kyle: Like you have no idea, I’m not even being funny. That’s just a thing that I was not capable of.

(Emily chuckles)

Kyle: And it’s a personal habit too. It’s not like…It’s different when it’s work, right, cause other people are depending on me. But bettering myself is just like, “Who cares?” No, but I did it!

Emily: But like, what was the impetus for that though? Did you just wake up one morning and say like, “Man, I should use my treadmill!”

Kyle: Uhhh…partly actually. Um, it was a combination of things, and uh, one was I actually wore a FitBit for most of last summer when “Pokemon Go” was a thing and I thought it’d be cool to track my fitness while I was playing it, so I wore one that my sister had, cause she had one. And then it died, so I forgot about it. And then, I sorta had this..I had a feeling like I just wanted to wear it again, cause I don’t wear a watch. And um, I forgot it was dead so I was like, “I’m gonna buy a new one!” And I bought the next version of the one that she had, and I was like, I’m gonna use this, otherwise it’s nothing but a waste of money.” So I did. And then, it was that mixed with just the existential fear of having CP and aging, where like I’m probably gonna lose some of my mobility at some point in my life. Which is, like I’m cool with it, but I’m also, you know, I wanna do as much as I can to make that happen in as late in my life as possible. And if that means staying active at some point, either naturally or artificially then I’m going to do it.

Emily: I actually see the flip side of that for me, which is that I chose to transition to using a wheelchair instead of walking, and then to transition to using a powerchair outside of the house instead of a manual chair. And it does make me feel… lazy to be totally honest. But also…

Kyle: Really?

Emily: Yeah no, I feel lazy all the time..like, I’m a big blob. But what are you gonna do? I could fix that.

Kyle: But is that because of your powerchair or is that just cause you feel lazy?

Emily: Well, I mean my version of sitting all the time is like very different than someone else’s version of sitting all the time, where they like run races. And by run I mean like, push themselves in a marathon. I’m not talking McFadden over here. But I do need to improve my fitness habit. But, transitioning to a wheelchair and to a powerchair was actually a conscious decision to preserve my body as I age. Which is directly contradictory to what you’re saying, and I think that’s a very personal thing but, for me, I have seen firsthand the effects of straining your body when it comes to my mom and so I kind of have this visual of what my disability could look like if um, I do abuse my body more than I should. So by using a wheelchair, even though I may not be as physically fit, my muscle pain is lessened because I’m not stressing the same muscles all the time, pushing myself or holding myself up with a walker. And I’m sure I’m gonna get some hate for this and people are gonna be like, “No you’re just a fat lady blob and your muscles would be just fine if you kept in shape.”

Kyle: And I’m gonna get hate for implying that disabled people could even be fit in the first place. Which we can!

Emily: Why would you get hate for that?

Kyle: I don’t know. Ableism. The reason we get hate for everything.

Emily: Well, is it ableist?

Kyle: No, no it’s not.

Emily: You know what does bug me though? Is like the whole like, “Sitting is the new smoking” like, sitting will kill you. I hate thinking about that because I don’t have a choice.

Kyle: I think that’s just a catchphrase. Right? Cause it sounds a lot better than you know, “If you laze around and do literally nothing for eight hours straight, it’s probably not good for you.” But that doesn’t sound as cool as, “Sitting will kill you.” or, “Sitting is the new smoking.” But obviously yeah there’s..would you say there’s a lot to unpack there, Emily?

Emily: I would say there’s an entire suitcase to unpack there.

Kyle: Mmm

Emily: It’s the same thing with all those supposedly inspirational fitness things where you see an elevator, but on the elevator it says, “Take the stairs.”

Kyle: Yeah

Emily: And it’s one thing when you see the sign that says, “In case of emergency take stairs” Like well, I’m just screwed. But it’s another thing when it’s like, “You’re fat” (chuckles)” take the stairs.”

Kyle: Yeah, I get that. I get that. I understand they do it, right, because most of the world doesn’t use wheelchairs, but I totally agree with you, that like there’s a non-zero percentage that do and it’s not an insignificant percentage either. Like what are we like, 12% of the population? And it went down but we’re still..

Emily: Twenty!

Kyle: No, no we were twenty remember we went through this? Off camera. We’ll put a link in the thing. But still, twelve. It’s like, what? We’re on par with Black people or Hispanic people? It’s a big thing, it’s huge! So it’s like there’s enough of us where that’s not..not great to say.

Emily: I just makes me feel bad about myself. And then I don’t really do anything about the fact that I feel bad about myself. Except I…sit and feel bad about myself.

Kyle: You should not feel bad about yourself because you are a delicate little flower.

Emily: Aw, thanks Kyle! What kind of flower?

Kyle: What’s your favorite kind of flower?

Emily: Mmmm… Gerber Daisy

Kyle: You are a Gerber Daisy

Emily: Anyway…

Kyle: I came up with that all by myself

(Emily laughs)

Emily: So, I do exercise though in a couple different ways. So, first of all, I have a physical therapist who comes to my house a couple times a week, and we do a lot of stretching and cardio and things like that. And then I also have a bunch of seated workout videos which I should totally put a link in the description.

Kyle: You should

Emily: I actually did a roundup a while ago

Kyle: That sounds hella useful!

Emily: It is super useful, I have spent way too long sitting on my butt scouring YouTube for seated workout videos, but they’re pretty good! And then, I also have a hand cycle, I’m sorta trying to get a new one because I don’t really like the one that I have. But the reality is that I’m just in really like, lazy phase of my life right now. And I can’t tell if this is internalized ableism that I just think that I should be doing more to get fit and take care of myself, or can I lean on my wheelchair as an excuse? I don’t know, I have a lot of feelings about this!

Kyle: You certainly could lean on your wheelchair as an excuse. I mean, only you would know that you’re doing it.

(Emily chuckles)

Kyle: It’s not really a bad thing. I mean, it is a bad thing, but it’s nothing that’ll…you know what I mean. You know what’s cool? I learned this only in the last year or two. That people with CP use three to five times more energy than people without CP. And that number is relative to “how much” CP you have. So someone like me on one end of the spectrum would be the three. So it’s pretty cool that like, I just have like, a stupid, fast metabolism, and so do most people with CP. That’s not to say that people with CP can’t be unfit, but when you have CP the odds are in your favor that you probably won’t be overweight. Which is nice, it’s one of the only perks we get.

Emily: I think we should probably differentiate meanings of words here because you can look “fit,” whatever society’s definition of fit is, and not take care of your body at all. Or you can be…

Kyle: Oh yeah! That was me up until like, last week.

(Emily laughs)

Kyle: I’m serious!

Emily: No, that’s you all the time, Kyle.

Kyle: Hey man, I’m trying to…to make my habit more habitual. I could use some encouragement, friend!

Emily: Kyle eats like a garbage truck! (chuckles) and…No, you know I’m here for you!

Kyle: I know

Emily: I am super supportive of the treadmill thing. Um, if you fall off the treadmill please have a video camera going.

Kyle: You got it boss!

Emily: Uh, I’ve done the treadmill a couple of times. I put like, my full-length like, braces on and try to do the treadmill. I haven’t done that in years but I used to try. Exercise is just hard. It’s a hard habit to get into.

Kyle: Yeah:

Emily: So more power to you for sticking with it for an entire week. I’m not being sarcastic.

Kyle: The other thing too is like, the better you get at it, like the more physically fit you get, there’s like a diminishing return of results, right? Like, a year from now, if I’m still doing this, all I’ll be doing is maintaining whatever I ended up with.

Emily: Should we use the podcast to hold you accountable?

Kyle: Oh, absolutely! I haven’t forgotten my Accessible Stall tattoo when we break the “Top Ten Most Listened Podcasts Ever”

(Emily laughs)

Kyle: But you did.

Emily: Well, I did until you just said it

Kyle: Yeah. Doesn’t matter. But um…

Emily: Maybe we should go with more attainable goals

Kyle: “Top Ten Most Listened Podcasts Ever” and I will tattoo The Accessible Stall logo on me

Emily: Where?

Kyle: Anywhere but my face!

(Emily laughs)

Kyle: I don’t want to be Mike Tyson out here.

Emily: So exercise…

Kyle: I mean, it’s also been an integral part of my life too because you know, I’ve had seventeen years of physical therapy and that’s something that you really don’t appreciate until you know, one day when it’s six or seven years later and then you get up and go on your treadmill. And then you realize that you were a really fit kid because you had to be. And you don’t don’t realize that it goes when you’re sitting around not exercising, but it’s something that I definitely did not take for granted when I should’ve, and I shoulda kept at it.

Emily: What’s it like just stopping physical therapy?

Kyle: Oh, God it was the best day of my life!

Emily: Really? Because…

Kyle: I, I hated it!

Emily: Why?

Kyle: Cause I plateaued. I wasn’t getting any better. And like, I say that now knowing that that’s totally fine. But at the time I was too stupid to realize that the reason I was doing what I had been doing was to maintain everything I had done up to that point.

Emily: You know, I think I had that phase with a physical therapist where I got kind of angry that she was coming and doing the same thing with me all the time.

Kyle: Mhmm

Emily: And I finally realized that even though I still wanted her to change up what she was doing, her overarching goal was maintenance. Because you have to grapple I guess with the fact that with a physical disability progress is not necessarily going to be a thing after awhile.

Kyle: Yeah, you’re gonna hit a wall sooner than pretty much any other kind of person

Emily: I mean…

Kyle: That’s okay! There’s nothing wrong with that, that’s just how we’re built.

Emily: Yeah, i don’t think that it’s a negative thing. And in fact, I think there’s this weird struggle between people who want to keep pushing and improving themselves, like disabled people who become fitness gurus or whatever. And then there’s you know, disabled people who feel it’s ableist to assume that we can’t make progress. So is it ableist to assume that you should push for more progress? Or is it ableist to assume that progress is not possible? Do you see? It’s like a Catch 22.

Kyle: That’s a very good question. No, I don’t think it is, and I’ll tell you why. Because it’s sort of like, presuming incompetence, you shouldn’t do it until you have a reason to do and it’s the same with this. Why assume that a disabled person can’t make themselves physically fit until you have a reason to assume otherwise? It might take more effort, it might take more time, it might take a more restrictive diet, it might take adaptive exercises, it might take a lot of different things. But I don’t think that you should assume that it’s not possible, and I certainly don’t think…There’s a very limited number of circumstances where I could look at a person and say, “The reason that you can’t physically exercise is because you’re disabled.” If you say that to me, I don’t believe you. Except under very specific circumstances or very specific kinds of disabilities.

Emily: I just think we need to redefine what exercise is

Kyle: Really? I mean, I don’t know what the dictionary definition is but I don’t think that that’s the problem

Emily: Our perceptions of it though. I don’t know. Or, maybe fitness is more to the point, not exercise. Because when we think fitness I think we are still socialized to think of like, those Instagram accounts where you see a tiny little woman with a six-pack and you know, drinking a green smoothie.

Kyle: Well that’s…well, I think that with that, you’re right. You know, I see that person and I think, “Well this is someone who has dedicated her whole life to making sure she looks like that” That is a completely different thing than what I’m talking about. And I think what you’re talking about is, “Garden Variety” people who happen to be disabled, just try to make sure that they die a little later than they might have to. (chuckles) You know, routine maintenance on our physical body is what I’m talking about. Somebody with a, you know, a ninety pound, five-foot woman with a six-pack, you know…That’s what, like five days a week in the gym? I couldn’t do that

Emily: So that’s an unattainable ideal for most people I think, but disabled people I mean, for you it might just be wanting to a couple of years onto your life. For me it is a lot about how a look.

Kyle: Oh, how I look helps! I mean that’s as good of a motivator as any, like, you know you keep up with this and you might look more physically attractive to people. Like, where’s the harm in that? Like, that’s a great motivator.

Emily: I also find myself think like, can I be a little heavier set, and in a wheelchair, and still be attractive to people? Like, I feel that’s there’s some kind of double whammy there.

Kyle: Sure you can.

Emily: I mean, I know I can, but you know, these are the things that I think about when I’m staring at myself in the mirror and I’m like, “I should fix this, and I should fix this, and I should fix this…”

Kyle: Yeah but when you do that..do you say those things about things that you…When you say, “Oh, I should fix this” I know you’re probably not thinking literally cause otherwise, you know. But like, metaphorically pick a thing in your head. Is that thing completely unfixable or is it just practically unattainable? You know what I mean? Like if you look in the mirror and say, “Hey Emily, I could probably lose five pounds.” But you don’t want to cause you have a full time job, and everything keeps you awake, and literally don’t have the time. It’s a goal that you can achieve right, but it’s practically unattainable ‘cause you have a life

Emily: Well…

Kyle: Or is it

Emily: Nothing is practically unattainable, like…

Kyle: Well that’s, yeah…yeah you’re right.

Emily: But, I have the ability to do it but it’s also like extra effort for me so I’m less inclined. That’s the thing, I’m gonna get annoyed at anybody who assumes that I can’t exercise, but I also kind of wanna wallow in my own self pity, cause like, it is so difficult.

Kyle: I like that. No, I like that. “You think I can’t exercise? Well I’ll have you know I’m annoyed…but not annoyed enough to prove you wrong!”

(Emily laughs)

Kyle: “You keep that up and I might be, mister!”

Emily: Although, I get into kicks with it. I go through phases where I’m like, “Yeah! Exercises videos everyday!” Also my exercise videos sometimes are kind of cheesy. But it’s great. And then I go through other periods where I’m just like, “I really can’t be bothered, so I’m just gonna sit here and slowly die.”

Kyle: There’s no shame in doing it or not doing it. I feel like we probably should’ve said that at the beginning, but like, you know, anyone who tells you that you should or shouldn’t do something is you know, beneath. Unless it’s like objectively harmful.

Emily: Well yeah, I mean

Kyle: Whatever makes you happy!

Emily: Society as a whole can’t win because if you exercise too much they tell you to chill, and if you don’t exercise enough they tell you to get off your ass. And I think that disabled people just have this problem amplified.

Kyle: Really? Cause I think that society sees us as nothing but lazy f**ks anyway. So…

Emily: Well, we’re either lazy or we’re just incapable.

Kyle: Right. So when we do anything it’s like, “Wow!” Cause on the one hand, if we’re lazy it’s like, “Oh look, you’re not lazy!” Or if they assume we’re incapable it’s like “Holy Sh*t look at that, I didn’t know that could happen!”

(Emily laughs)

Kyle: Right? So…

Emily: Yeah. But I guess I’m just going back to my Catch 22 situation of people assume it’s not possible but people also assume that we’re just lazy so…you can’t win. You just can’t win I guess.

Kyle: Wouldn’t that be like motivation though to like, do it? It isn’t for me, it isn’t for me!

Emily: I mean…

Kyle: I’m inherently lazy, I’m also disabled and I…I really don’t think that one has to do with the other.

Emily: (laughs) If I had somebody who just screamed in my face all the time that I’m perfectly capable and I’m just being a lazy bum? That would probably be the most motivational speech you could give me.

Kyle: So what you’re saying is, I should dress up like the Sergeant from Full Metal Jacket

Emily: Yes

Kyle: And yell directly in your face, two inches from your nose.

(Emily laughs)

Kyle: Got it. Cool. I’ll get right on that.

Emily: Right. But it has to be somebody I would take seriously, which unfortunately, is not you.

Kyle: You say that now. Just you wait. No, but I don’t know. Could you say everything you’re saying about anyone though? I know the problem is amplified for disabled people, I’m 100% with you there. But like anyone you know could probably exercise more. Literally anybody. Cause here’s the thing about exercising…It’s hard. Here’s the thing about not exercising, it’s the easiest thing to do in the world!

Emily: But this is where I was talking about revamping our definition of exercise. Because for somebody who doesn’t have a lot of motion,what’s considered exercise?

Kyle: I…I don’t know. We should probably look that up when we’re done, but…

Emily: Like, for somebody who’s a quadriplegic?

Kyle: There’s something, I am a believer, and prove me wrong, someone! But I really think that there’s something for everyone. I said that before. If you tell me that you can’t physically exercise, I am skeptical. I don’t expect you to prove it, like, I’ll take your word for it but I really believe that there is adaptive exercise for every person.

Emily: So if you dress up like the Drill Sergeant can I just like, tell you that I can’t, and you won’t make me prove it?

Kyle: You could, but if I’m assuming that role it would be my literal job to yell at you and tell you that that was bulls*it.

Emily: I actually really do want a very angry, aggressive personal trainer.

Kyle: Well

Emily: Like, not one that would do anything horrible…

Kyle: Oh. Sorry, go on.

Emily: Oh no, I was just gonna say like when I mean “angry and aggressive” I mean like, in a loving way.

Kyle: Yeah, I had a PT like that. I did. One of my last PTs when I was in high school was exactly like that, and I love him. (chuckles) He was the greatest PT in the world because he looked at me at that age and realized that my range of motion and the range between my steps and all that stuff was just what it was and that’s what it’s gonna be until the day I die. So, he had me work out. And he was like, “Okay this is your hand in life let’s improve it to the most that we can.” And that was the first time that anyone’s ever done that with me and I was just…it was amazing. It was. He..it made me feel like it was physical therapy that I wanted to do. Because it was something that I could literally see and feel, rather than previously when my PT was, “Just do this and you’ll be a little bit better at something, and you’re not so good at it anyway!” Which was in this case, walking. You know? That’s the most boring thing. Who wants to do that? You know? “Keep at it and you will improve so minimally, you won’t even notice!” But not this guy.

Emily: Yeah, I’m gonna need someone who’s gonna kick my ass is what I think. So, if anyone would like to be my personal trainer, but also not be an expensive personal trainer, hit a girl up. Serious inquiries only please!

Kyle: You gonna start drinking like, wheatgrass?

Emily: God, no. This is the thing. Life is short!

Kyle: Yeah that’s the other thing, I do not eat healthy. No, I don’t

Emily: No he doesn’t. He does not.

Kyle: No I don’t. In fact, the more unhealthy the food, the bigger the challenge.

Emily: Also, I seriously remember…this wasn’t even that long ago. You texted, or sent a message and was like, “I ate a salad and now I feel like sh*t.” (laughs) Like only this guy could eat a salad and feel worse than when he eats like, a triple bacon cheeseburger, I swear.

Kyle: Yeah, that happened. That happened. It was a very miserable day, thank you for reminding me of that awful, awful day.

(Emily laughs)

Emily: But it’s, it…

Kyle: No, it’s the truth. That’s the opposite of what’s supposed to happen.

Emily: But then I also, I really hate you because you can eat a triple bacon cheeseburger. And not that I would even want to partake in that, and then look fine.

Kyle: No, but I understand that because I’m someone who can eat three thousand calories a day and have it not matter. And I don’t That’s the other thing. Not only can I, but I shove it in the face of everyone who wishes they could do that by totally not doing that.

(Emily chuckles)

Kyle: I’m sorry, what can I say? I was born this way.

Emily: Kyle loves to eat. And I love to eat. Which one of us has a better time eating?

Kyle: Oh…Oh God, I don’t know if I can even. I don’t know, I don’t know. Eating is our natural habitat.

Emily: But I feel guilty when I eat. You’re probably just like, “More food!”

Kyle: Are you kidding? I feel proud! You should too man. This sh*t that you eat is keeping you alive.

(Emily laughs)

Kyle: You’re eating fuel! Think about it. When you eat meat, right? You’re eating something, that ate something, that got energy from the ground, which got its energy from the sky. So, in effect, you’re eating the sun when you eat a cheeseburger. And how cool is that? Yeah, pretty cool. I thought so.

Emily: Well… now that you just logic-ed that one. (laughs)

Kyle: That is the stupidest thing I have ever said on this show, and I love it.

Emily: Cheeseburgers are brain food

Kyle: They sure are!

Emily: Come at me Vegans, I really love cheeseburgers!

Kyle: They can’t fight. I’m kidding! I know like four Vegans and I love them all.

Emily: No, I have the upmost respect for Vegans. That is some self-discipline.

Kyle: Yeah, no not gonna lie, if you’re a Vegan I might not agree with your food choice but I respect you like no one else! Because someone like that has self-discipline that I just don’t have. I just don’t have it.

Emily: You know, discipline is a difficult thing. I kind of wish somebody would hold me to the same standards as non-disabled people.

Kyle: I absolutely wish that, that’s all I want. When that happens, which it won’t in our lifetime, but we can stop doing this podcast.

Emily: That’s what it’s gonna take?

Kyle: Yeah! That was our last episode, the soft bigotry of low expectations! Our bar shouldn’t be set lower unless we demonstrate in some capacity that it has to be, in a very particular way. In other words, I’m not gonna say, “Hey Emily, you can’t have this job if you can’t climb twenty flights of stairs.”

Emily: That’s actually a very real thing though in a lot of job descriptions..how they put the whole, “Need to be able to lift twenty pounds.”

Kyle: Yeah but like, that’s just not the job then for you. It’s not an ableist thing to say that you require someone lift twenty pounds.

Emily: Okay but what if it’s a job for being a professor? Or what if it’s a job that literally all you have to do is sit at a desk? Like no, you don’t need to lift twenty pounds that’s a ridiculous job description.

Kyle: Then it wouldn’t be there I think. And if it is, then look for the same job in a place that doesn’t require that. If it’s a desk job that requires you to lift twenty pounds and you can’t..

Emily: No! Just no way. Disagree. Fix your ableism.

Kyle: No!

Emily: Not you specifically

Kyle: It’s not ableism!

Emily: It is!

Kyle: No it’s not. If it’s a job that requires you to do something that you’re not able to do then that’s not the job for you. Do a different job!

Emily: But you definitely do not have to be able to lift twenty pounds to have a job at a desk.

Kyle: That’s right! So then find that job at a company that realizes that that’s a stupid requirement.

Emily: But a lot of times companies just have a very standard job description that they’ll put out into the world

Kyle: Yes…And a lot of times they’ll list ideal candidates that have completely false requirements that are nonexistent. I’ll give you an example. There was a guy who wrote a programming language once called jQuery. It’s used in every web application that you and I can name . This job was posted in like…I don’t remember the year. But it was more…jQuery was made ten years ago at that point, right? And this job posting said that it was required to have a least twelve years of jQuery experience. So the creator of jQuery sent in his resume and said, “This is impossible and the person who wrote this job description should be fired because that can’t happen.” My point is, everything about a job description, everything about an ideal candidate is nonsense! Apply anyway! Or don’t. If you really think that that twenty pounds is gonna be imperative to your job then just don’t apply. There’s a ton of jobs that I can’t do, that I could do, that I can’t do cause I don’t drive.

Emily: Hmmm

Kyle: But just because I can’t become a truck driver doesn’t mean that every truck incorporation is ableist. They’re not, it’s just not something i can do. But I can drive a forklift right, so you know, I could probably work in their warehouse for example.

Emily: I would love to see you drive a forklift

Kyle: Oh, I have once for like five minutes. It was awesome. It really was. Would recommend.

Emily: I wanna drive a John Deere. I want an adaptive John Deere that I can like, drive with my hands.

Kyle: It wouldn’t surprise me if such a thing exists. Or at least could be modified to exist.

Emily: Somebody get on that. I want..You got this? Everybody taking notes? I want a personal trainer…

Kyle: You got that, Mr. Deere?

Emily: And I want an adaptive John Deere. Okay? (laughs) In that order.

Kyle: Well of course, cause how are you gonna get on your adaptive John Deere if you’re not fit, right? Cause you gotta push yourself up on it.

Emily: I cannot push myself up

Kyle: Really?

Emily: I really can’t

Kyle: Aw, you gotta work on that my friend. That’s bad.

Emily: Like, if I’m on the floor, I am on the floor.

Kyle: No. No. I used to have a girlfriend that had that same problem and like, we worked through it.

Emily: Yes, I know I’ve heard that story, you made her fall down..

Kyle: I didn’t!

Emily: No! He made her like fall down in the middle of a park and then get herself back up.

Kyle: I didn’t make her fall down, she got on the floor.

Emily: He didn’t make her, but he was with her.

Kyle: Yeah. What do you think I wasn’t gonna help her up? Look, if I fall down and I can’t get up I’m dead. Cause something will come and kill me.

Emily: If I fall down and can’t get up someone’s gonna come get me.

Kyle: Right. And that’s something that not all of us have. I’m just saying! And obviously if your disability impedes from doing that, I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to Emily, I don’t think it does.

Emily: No, like it kinda does.

Kyle: And I think that…

Emily: No actually I used to be able to get on and off the floor pretty easily.

Kyle: Oh really? Well there you go, so you know that you can do it. So, try not to die as best you can. Let’s work on that together. I’ll take you to a park

(Emily laughs)

Kyle: And I’ll knock ya down like a bowling pin. I’ll even get a comically large bowling ball.

Emily: This sounds very dangerous

Kyle: Yeah, And we’ll do it together. You and me kid.

Emily: We should try it in the living room first. Yeah.

Kyle: You’re carpet’s soft enough, right?

Emily: It’s an old carpet, Everybody stay tuned for the next episode of The Accessible Stall, where I have bruises all over me because Kyle knocked me down and made me get back up.

Kyle: You’ll thank me for it one day. There’s your drill sergeant talk!

(Emily laughs)

Kyle: Anyway, on that note, my final takeaway is like…Oh it’s so hard because I’m not in the business of telling people what they should and shouldn’t do, that’s like my least favorite thing about people as a whole. But for me, like I realize that this is the only body that I have and it’s not perfect, it’s damaged like in the brain. There’s a certain point where it’s just not gonna get any better. And I should deal with what I have. Anything that I can do to improve myself is worth doing, in my opinion.

Emily: Self improvement. Yes!

Kyle: But do whatever you want, man! If you wanna eat like, four cakes in a row then…please film it because that sounds difficult.

Emily: I really like cake (laughs)

Kyle: I mean, I was talking to the audience, but you too Emily.

Emily: I mean, I’m just saying. Exercise or cake? Okay, anyone who listened to the end, I’m taking a poll. Exercise or cake?

Kyle: We’ll put that on our social media. My answer is cake.

Emily: I agree with also cake

Kyle: Great!

Emily: You could feed me cake while I exercise and then that outweighs the..

Kyle: It could be like a “carrot on the stick” situation, except it’s a fork with cake.

(Emily chuckles)

Emily: “This has been productive!” Um, my final takeaway is that internalizing what society thinks you should or should not do when it comes to exercise is ridiculous. And you should do what’s right for you and your body.

Kyle: And you should also do whatever you want. So if you want to try and conform to whatever you think society has in store for you, and you wanna do that? Then by all means. But you know, society’s pressures are bullsh*t anyway. Most of them.

Emily: Just take care of yourself. Because you deserve your life! This just turned into an episode of Dr. Phil.

Kyle: I was gonna say Jerry Springer cause that’s what he says at the end of every episode. He says, “Take care of yourself and each other.”

Emily: Really?

Kyle: Yeah. At the end of every episode

Emily: Ew

Kyle: Like right after they clean up the fights and the bodily fluids

Emily: He’s awful, that’s disgusting. He’s a garbage panda. No.

Kyle: Yes he is. What’s a garbage panda?

Emily: I don’t know, like a raccoon?

Kyle: Is that just a bear? You described a bear..

(Both laugh)

Emily: I don’t know!

Kyle: No, I do. You literally just described a bear. A bear is a panda that goes through your garbage.

(Emily laughs)

Emily: So, yeah.

Kyle: Okay, Jerry Springer, the bear everyone (unintelligible) I’m Kyle, she’s Emily. This has been a long overdue, but ridiculous and productive episode of The Accessible Stall. Thank you all for listening! Like, Follow, and Subscribe! Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time!

Emily: Bye! Have a good night. Good night? Morning! When are you listening to this? Tell us when you’re listening! Are you in the shower? Are you commuting to work?

Kyle: Do you listen to us in the shower? I do.

Emily: (laughs). Oh God, this just got interesting. Alright bye everybody!

Kyle: Goodnight!