Disability — is a characteristic that sometimes is attached to people alongside holiness.
Passers-by mournfully will lower their heads down, turning away, avoiding eye contact in silent sympathy. “Oh, you, poor thing, you’ve been suffering so much”. Sometimes people may even give money, simply to someone who was just rolling his wheelchair, minding his own business, as if it were a charity.
The first thing people should know about disable folk — is that they are the same ordinary people.
They can be good or bad. They are just like everybody else.
To say Anton Mamontov is not an angel — would be to slightly embellish the truth.
He is a brutal alfa-male, joker, playboy, and heart-throbber. You name it — he is all of the above mentioned, but not a poor crippled body, wronged by life. Bursting with his negative charm, he can hurt anybody himself, should he wish to.
“You need to get a grip on what part of the town I came from. For those who know the area of “Blue Stones” in Ekaterinburg and its background — it’s like a forgery for young souls, once and forever. Cutting all the crap — those young lads living there are troublemakers, white trash, declassified elements. Every second one was behind bars, every third one was a junkee. Plus the area is nearby the railway — some badasses were without fingers, some without a leg.
This is my story - I sat on a rail track, just to ponder about my life. I was heavily stoned. The train severed my legs just above the kneecaps. I was only 16.
My first thought was — I survived. And this thought has been keeping me alive right up to this moment. It’s a miracle, but I wasn’t even depressed. I simply began to continue my life — taking into consideration my new circumstances.
There is a special Russia saying: “Push that wheelchair”. It’s all about me.
The most difficult part was to adapt to being the source of attention of people on the street. It took me 2 years. What would have been worse than sympathetic glances were questions, such as: “Were you injured in the army?” or “Have you, at least, had a bird?” But that is a peculiarity of our mentality. There is no such stigma abroad — there, everybody is very amicable, nobody pays you any special attention. You are an able-bodied member of society.
I was offered prosthetics at once. But our state prosthetics were a mass of tangled leather straps, tightening and squishing absolutely everything. It was too painful, too uncomfortable, it was hurting my back. I decided to refuse them. It was too damn hard. Plus I was a lazy bum.
For about 6 years I lived and breathed in my wheelchair. It all changed with my powerlifting coach Anatoliy Nokilaevich. He simply refused me entrance and the training in a wheelchair — only walking on prosthetics. It was hell of a struggle to get used to. But, as a result, I achieved the rank of professional sportsman. Today I’m mostly walking on prosthetics, but at home I move around in a wheelchair.
I’m so in tune
with my surroundings, with people who are around me, and the way I live right
now, that I would not want to change anything. I’ve been working as a DJ for
about 7 years. It’s pure artistry, new people, new connections — it’s just awesome that you work as you want
and not the way you have to. My disability linked me with an inclusive
theater ORA, run by russian director Larisa
Abasheva. And now, being on stage I discover myself from a totally different perspective. It’s an
amazing experience — especially from an
ordinary dude from “Blue Stones””.