Thursday, January 12

Let me be brave

One of the best things to happen in my town last year was the opening of a new independent movie theatre - the Moxie. Murderball was the first movie I saw there, an amazing documentary about the U.S. Quadriplegic rugby team. It's too late to see this movie at the Moxie, but I recommend getting the dvd. I also recommend getting to the Moxie as soon as you can. I digress.

Elite level quadriplegic rugby players are a lot like elite athletes in other sports. They’ve got pretty big egos. But a lot of people don't understand just what quadriplegic rugby players do and who they are.

There was a pretty funny scene in the movie where the players where talking about their families. One guy was at a family gathering when a relative explained that he was training and practicing so that he could go to the Special Olympics. The rugby players made some politically incorrect comments about athletes who compete in the Special Olympics. They made it clear: they were training for the paralympics. Big difference.

Anyhow, I recently came across the Special Olympics Athlete Oath. It was so moving, I decided to write it down and tape it to my computer.

Here it is: "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."

I suppose in some way, training for a marathon is a bit like training for the Special Olympics. In a lot of ways, just getting to the starting line is winning. Finishing is even another level of winning. But deciding to train, that's another important step of the process.

I'd have to finish in darn near two hours to come in first place. But winning has a lot of different meanings. For me, just to finish will be a form of winning. I'll be doing something, overcoming a challenge, that most people wouldn't even dream of trying.

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