[image credit Gary]
Yesterday several members of our extended family attended the Franklin County, PA Special Olympics events held in at Chambersburg High School. We have a family member who competed, our sweet and lovely Doody Bug (that's not her real name, in case you wondered!).
We who run vast distances in the backcountry scarcely give a second thought to how much of a gift that is--the physical health, the mental ability, the societal and family circumstances that enable us to pursue our passion for trail running.
Well, yesterday I knew that I would never again take it for granted, as I saw literally hundreds of Special Olympics athletes competing their hearts out to the limits of their abilities. I saw them laugh and cry and cheer, and I did plenty of all three myself, as did all the other friends and families of the athletes.
For the kids, it was their day for a change, a day of not always being the slowest. A day of smiles and achievements and high fives, from the mentally challenged kids who could run like the wind, to the wheelchair bound kids whose minds work just fine in a failing body.
Seeing these hundred of kids, from all the school districts in an ordinary Pennsylvania county, made me realize how many kids are challenged physically and/or mentally, just how fragile life and health are, and how any family is just the luck of the draw away from being on that football field.
I've been a financial supporter of Special Olympics for years, and now know that this cause will remain on my giving list forever.