Ian RuderWhenever anyone tells me how inspirational I am, I think back to Nike’s famous 1993 commercial featuring NBA-legend Charles Barkley.

With the camera zoomed in on his right eye and nothing but the sound of the basketball bouncing in the background, Barkley told the audience, “I am not a role model. I am not paid to be a role model. I’m paid to wreak havoc on the basketball court. Parents should be role models. Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.”

Over the years, and the many instances of people patting me on the shoulder or giving me the thumbs up as they told me how inspiring I was, I came up with my own play on Barkley’s words.

In my dream scenario, the sound of my power chair cuts out as I tell the audience, “I am not your inspiration. I am not paid to be your inspiration. Just because I use a wheelchair doesn’t mean I should motivate you to live your life.”

I’ve never actually sa