I’m a childhood cancer survivor, that was told after having my left kidney removed, that I shouldn’t ever play contact sports. My dad worked 2nd shift for most of my life, and I lived in the country. Because of my medical condition, and my dad being at work when I came home from school, I didn’t really think learning to throw a ball was important. I really didn’t have an interest in sports.
My first contact with unicycling was probably the Super Nintendo game Uniracers. I don’t recall ever seeing any clowns unicycling, except for on TV in cartoons, shows, perhaps. I thought unicycles seemed pretty cool/looked pretty cool. My mom, though pretty conservative and traditional, raised me to be open minded to a lot of things, and gave me the desire to look information up and have a drive to learn about things.
I think, all along, with the huge focus there is on sports in my little town, I wanted to find something that was for me. BMX was tried, and so was skateboarding. I still greatly respect both of those sports, but could never progress as fast as I wanted to, like with unicycling.
I don’t think I’m different, but my peers quickly pointed it out to me. Since I couldn’t play a lot of sports, and didn’t have the desire to participate in any others, I got interested in other things. Never having to try to fit in with the crowd, it just didn’t really fully happen.
In middle school, when the XGames became popular, I got interested in other sports, and came home from school to check out things like Bluetorch TV, and the like. Around then, I lived in a neighborhood, and the kids around me had all sorts of different things to try, like stilts, and pogo sticks. One kid’s father had a unicycle. After having a lot of fun learning stilts and doing tricks on a pogo stick, I had begun thinking about what else there was to do that involved balancing skills. It would only been a matter of time before I got into the sport. I started riding when I was 15.
People continually remind me about how unusual it is. It’s easy to forget, when you think about it, do it, talk about it, watch it being done. I don’t care what people think about it. I’ve been praised, and made fun of. Who cares. For me, it has always been fun, and a way to stay active, and express myself.
At 21, the doctors told me that the risk of kidney injury all along was so low that I could’ve played any sport I wanted to. It’s too late, and I already found my sport that I love.
Enough about me.
I hope other people share their answers as well.