This year there was a problem. I still have a lot of trouble going down stairs. It HURTS. I don't have that range of motion back yet. No way in hell was I making it down 12 flights - I had trouble the last time with muscle fatigue, and I wasn't recovering from injury!
I brought it up with the HR manager, and it was no problem. There was a group of various people who for various reasons wouldn't be doing the drill (an elderly client, a coworker with a rib fracture from a recent car accident, someone with a bad knee), I could join them. We'd just stand in the stairwell until it was over.
It was fine, really... but... two people asked us what we were doing, and when the answer was "we're the disabled group," the answer was invariably an exasperated roll of the eyes. One of them even said "oh please," as she headed down the stairwell. They didn't even stick around long enough for any of us to retaliate. Though I did snark "Bite me" at the first.
I shouldn't be touchy about that. I really know I shouldn't. But it's a long-standing sore point. My feet have always been a hidden disability. I'm not sitting out because I'm lazy. I'm not shirking the annoying exercise that everyone else has to do. I'm not exactly unhappy about not doing it, but I would if I could.
It's just.... people look at me, and I'm not on crutches or in a wheelchair (anymore - o how short the coworker's memory must be), so obviously I'm perfectly able-bodied and therefore I'm just LAZY. Not Trying Hard Enough, TM.
Contribute to my sense of worthlessless a little more, why don't you. I'm sorry I don't have a big red H on the front of my forehead to tell you all the details of my physical condition.
Looking back, I should have given a smartass answer like "we're waiting for everyone else to leave so we can jump." Or something more specific, "ankle still healing." You never think of these things when it matters. I'd like to save them for next year, except next year I'll probably be able to do the drill with everyone else.