1. I love lifting with a strength and dedication I didn’t know I was capable of. I love how much of what I learn in training is applicable to real life. This is growth. This is progress. This is not failure.

  2. Those of us with the types of depression that ebb and flow, insidiously creeping up when we least expect it, might not have our shields up and ready when the tide comes in. But a few months ago I happened to feel another bout of depression looming before it knocked me off my feet and accidentally discovered a strategy for fighting it.

  3. I can never get enough stories about Mount Washington, the little mountain in New Hampshire that kills just everybody, and which I'll never visit unless it's to get dragged into the weather station and gleefully drink cocoa as the sky goes all to white hell around me. Here are some highlights for you armchair outdoorswomen, rated on a scale of 1 to 5 !!!!!s.

  4. Nobody knows with certainty how endometriosis works. Nobody knows what causes it, either. Patiently, politely, I had participated in months of reckless, hopeful subservience: of lying down while doctors tested and palpated and examined and queried, but never wholly explained their method -- or my disease.

  5. I attended high school during the heyday of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and people tended to slot me in as one: I was dreamy and distracted.

  6. I called him Henry. Henry was much like a houseguest who had overstayed his welcome. While he was no trouble to begin with — and in fact, I barely noticed him at all — after 12 to 18 months, our relationship was beginning to strain. He popped in and out whenever he wanted; he didn’t exactly cause any trouble but I always knew he was there, taking up valuable real estate.

  7. There is a sad truth known throughout communities of people with disabilities: exploitation. A plethora of videos make their way across various social media sites. These popular videos, known to some as “Inspiration Porn,” use the stories of people with disabilities and cut them into thirty-second clips with a caption along the lines of 'Wow! I need to be thankful for what I have!'

  8. I have researched and explored the lives and experiences of English women and men who faced fertility problems in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. I have become so immersed in their world that a friend who is a modern day OB/GYN teases me that I talk about my historical subjects as though they were patients.

  9. Whenever I go to trade shows or industry events, I’m shocked at how solidly, stubbornly pink the women’s outdoor gear options are, even gear for truly extreme sports. Women’s gear often lacks features that are available for men—and for some sports, equipment isn’t available in women’s sizes at all.

  10. I had been taking Citalopram for ten years when I decided to take a break. At 18, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, a constant and persistent sense of worry about everyday things. I think of GAD as inchoate and needy, willing to attach itself to any normal set of circumstances regardless of whether there is actually a threat.

  11. When I am approached for photographs at tourist sites or asked for proof of identity just because the color of my skin contradicts my claim of being Indian, it sensitizes me to how much importance we attach to appearances.

  12. I sit in my wheelchair at the edge of the pool. My seat belt is undone, just in case. If my chair somehow ends up in the water, it’ll be easier to escape that way.

  13. This grant will allow me to develop and sustain a chill environment, and acquire the proper observational tools to record my findings over a six month period.

  14. Art is important. It is an echo of the real world, capturing our perceptions and reflecting them back to us. And what do we discover reflected in the story of Marie-Laure? A well-crafted homage to destructive stereotypes about blindness, softened and made pretty by artful prose.

  15. I desperately want a career for myself that is successful on its own terms, neither dependent on my blindness nor in spite of it.