It gave me a place to belong -Ben Comen
|First Rockies game!|
This sense of community is also why a part of me really hopes James likes running as much as Dan and I do. Every track or cross country team I have been a part of has been a group of some of the most accepting people I've ever met. You often had to beg other members of my tennis teams to cheer for each other, but with runners it was never even a question. Everyone had already gathered at the finish line or sporadically throughout the course to cheer for each other. I always felt at home on the track team, like I belonged.
Like any mom I worry about James. I worry he won't be accepted. I worry that others will make fun of him. And I know Down syndrome or not at some point someone will make fun of him. I don't want to push running on him, but I hope he finds a sense of belonging like I have found in the trail running community. And I am hopeful the trail running community will accept him just as it accepted me.
I also can't just be hopeful. Being hopeful didn't teach James to walk, being hopeful hasn't improved his communication skills. If I want others to accept James I have to be accepting as well. My life experiences have introduced me to a community I never thought I would be a part of. I never thought I would be a special needs mom. But here I am. The people I've met not only in the Ds community, but others with special needs have taught me so much about patience and acceptance about what's important in life. I'd like to think I've brought some of that to the trail running community. That maybe there'll be one person I meet out on the trail who sees my RDS shirt or hears me talk about James and stops and thinks for a moment before they use the r-word or maybe they simply smile the next time the bagger takes a little longer to pack their groceries than they would like. Maybe instead of making fun of the person who is barely jogging faster than you can walk around the block in your neighborhood you invite them to go for a run with you. The trail running community has been so accepting to me that I really hope this amazing group can continue to operate the same was even as it grows. The only way it will is if we all try a little.
Week June 2 - 8
Miles Running: 40.5
Hours Hiking and Running: 8.5
|Everyone takes a spill once in awhile during a run!|
|Rockin' his Digger hat!|