You can do anything you want, as long as you want it badly enough!
By Sahra Johnson
I'd love to introduce everyone to Sarah Johnson. She is new to writing for Born Just Right and I'm thrilled to have her join us with her one-handed perspective!
Running across this blog happened by chance. I was browsing the Nubability Athletics website searching for a way to get involved. That's how I found a link to Born Just Right. For years now, I've been searching for a way to help others born like me. I saw this as a possible opportunity and reached out to Jen. To my surprise, she responded quickly, and was interested in hearing about my story. Thanks for the opportunity Jen :).
I was born without my right hand and forearm. In the grand scheme of things, I know what an insignificant fact this is. I graduated from college, built a career for myself, and somehow manage to keep a 4-year-old Bichon Frise alive. Despite all of my successes, and my ability to live a normal life, I'm still faced with an abnormal obstacle to overcome on a daily basis. It is not, as many of you might assume, the day-to-day tasks that I have to perform missing an extra arm. The real obstacle has always been overcoming the perception of what those around me believe that I am capable of.
I grew up in Noblesville, IN, in a two-parent household, with two brothers. I was the middle child, the only girl, and the only one interested in sports. From a young age, I loved softball. I had a passion for the game and wanted to be a pitcher. Not once did my parents ever discourage me from playing. They never questioned how it would be possible, they merely handed me a glove and let me figure the rest out. I had an amazing support system that helped drown out the sounds of the countless doubters.
When reflecting on the first 26 years of my life, I can tell you, without question, that I am who I am because of the values and beliefs that my parents instilled in me. They treated me exactly the same as they treated my two-handed brothers. "Can't" was a cuss word in our household. They raised me to believe that I could do anything I wanted to do as long as I wanted it bad enough. Because of them, I played softball for 13 years, pitched for nearly 10, and played on a state winning varsity team in high school. I played fast pitch, competitive softball, and never once was I unable to get my glove back on after pitching the ball in order to catch a line drive.
In my mind, having one arm is the same thing as being a brunette, or being tall. It's programmed in my DNA, but it doesn't define me. I don't frequently reflect on the fact that I have brown hair, or that I type with only five fingers. I think about if I was kind enough today. Could I have responded to a situation better? I see myself as you see yourself: complete.
I'm very grateful for the opportunity to share pieces of my story with you. Softball was a crucial time in my life, but the years in my life after I stopped being a high school athlete have been just as challenging and rewarding. I am looking forward to getting the chance to share a few things with you, and hopefully, in the process, give you a different perspective on what it is like living with a limb difference.
You can read more stories about "Living Born Just Right" from other one-handed writers who kindly contribute to this site.