I always kind of dreaded playing sports with nondisabled people as a kid. I feared that inevitably there would be that awkward moment when, either compelled by feelings of pity or desires to be inclusive, the players on the other team would oh so carefully miss a pass or stumble while making a save to allow me to score a goal. I would participate in the pantomime, I felt I had no choice, because it felt wrong to chastise these kids for doing something they felt was an expression of their compassion or appreciate of me. Clearly, these moments were designed to make me feel included despite my limitations, but often it just left me feeling more isolated.
I didn’t want to score a special goal. I wanted to score a real goal!