Yesterday morning I awoke, knowing that I would be headed to the Annual Special Olympic Track Meet to cheer on several wonderful young men and women that I have come to know over the past 10 ~ 12 years. When I awoke, it was cold, misting of rain, and very dreary outside. I felt myself wishing that they would just “call it off”. I didn’t want to leave my nice warm cozy home to go out in the less than desirable weather…. I mean seriously, Who would..???
I arrived at the track and was met by so many smiling faces, HUGS, high-fives, and excitement from all the “special” young men and women I’ve seen every Monday evening for the past two months at practice. Quite a few of them got their events in, and were proudly displaying their Blue (first place) Red (second Place) Yellow (third place) or green (participant) Ribbons that they received for such events. To some the Blue and Red meant everything, while others were just as happy to have the green (participant) ribbons.
Soon the downpour of rain came, we were all shuttled down under the bleachers, out of the rain, and safe from the thunder/lightning. For the next hour and fifteen minutes I was surrounded by many happy faces, great conversation, hugs and high-fives :highfive: with the athletes, and spending time with special people who have become my friends, one in particular named Eric, who competes in his wheelchair and absolutely melts my heart every time he smiles and struggles to get his words out. It turned out to be one of the best hour and a half I’ve spent recently. They made their own fun with what we had to work with.
Soon it was announced that the weather was relentless, and showing no signs of letting up so the Meet was officially called “OVER” and the athletes were free to leave and go home…. Suddenly I was being asked numerous questions… “Does this mean I don’t get to do my Race” or “I didn’t get to do my race, can I still come to the Pizza Party in two weeks..??” or “Since I didn’t get to race, How can I qualify for the State Meet..??” and so on…
Today, reflecting on the events that transpired, and remembering my wish yesterday that they “just call it off” and the question I asked myself about Who would want to leave their warm cozy home to “weather the storms” I realized I knew the answer all along…. It was a couple hundred Very Special People who look forward this weekend all year long……..
So yes, next year, the 4th Saturday in April I will be there once again to cheer on my favorite athletes, no matter the weather…..