Since I was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in both of my knees last year, I have had to accept significant limitations I never even thought of having at a younger age.  

Despite healthier changes in my lifestyle and minor treatments for the condition, I endure chronic pain and stiffness that inhibits my ability to stand for more than several minutes and simply walking from one room to another at home has become very difficult.

I am fortunate in that my position of having a desk job allows me to still perform my essential position functions, but at times l become frustrated of no longer being able to do the things I used to enjoy on a regular basis.

Sometimes I am envious of people who have no idea of what it means to struggle daily with a debilitating condition but then think of the millions of people with severe and some cases terminal physical, mental and emotional afflictions with limitations that I can’t even imagine going through.

This recent hardship has brought about changes in my perspective of how I view my current state and how I have had to come to terms with accepting my limitations.

One positive outcome is that it has strengthened my resolve to persevere and strive to overcome challenges and difficulties in every facet of my life, especially in applying my resolve to challenges often experienced in my position as a Sales Development Rep.  

I was made aware of two opposite states of mind having this condition last year during my annual trip to visit my family for the Holidays.

When being driven to my plane’s gate on a courtesy transport cart often used by elderly and handicapped travelers, I felt absolutely ashamed and disgraced when I noticed teenagers look of disgust and disdain at my having to utilize the service.  

My return flight deplaned at the last gate of the concourse and because it was late I had to walk a very long distance to the front exit of the airport in intense pain and then spend almost two hours scraping ice off of my car outside in single digit temperatures. Where was that snide teenager during that time?

From both of these experiences, I have concluded that people will sometimes harshly judge you in having any type of limitation but when you have to you can achieve anything that you put your mind to despite your limited abilities.  

I truly believe now that accepting a limitation is not accepting defeat!

-Dan Vathy-