Privileged to Work With the Special Ones

Micah turned 6, and that means that new worlds have opened up to him. Specifically, the world of Special Olympics. Not being one to waste time dawdling around (sometimes) I found the contact for our county and got the low-down. Saturday morning we were ready to go swimming.

Micah loves swimming. He's semi-fish, I'm pretty sure. I haven't checked for gills, but they may or may not be there. He was thrilled nigh unto death when Daddy presented him with his swimmy floaty suit. He wasted no time stripping down to don that thing. He also attempted to go outside to find the pool that we apparently constructed overnight while he slept.

We arrived at the pool (after a pit stop at the grocery store for swim diapers, which leaked and left a very obvious wet spot, by the way) only to realize that it was populated with swimmers over 20. Micah was not really fitting in. Turns out the lady in charge needed to leave early and apologized for having me there at the wrong time, but she wanted to talk to me. Those nearer Micah's age show up later, but unfortunately I had somewhere else to be at that time. Next week will be so much fun. Micah is already eyeballing the diving boards. A lot. It worries me.

Sunday is track and field practice. Micah is a runner. Not a fast runner, mind you, but he loves to run. He runs non-stop. Track is perfect. All the same Olympists were at the track that were at the pool the day before. Micah was the youngest by a good 25 years, easy. He was a bit daunted by that fact, but walked on the orange line like a trooper. He's all about following lines. It's his thing. He demonstrated this early on while driving his dump truck up the yellow lines of the road. Yeh, that was a fun, fun summer. NOT.

Micah got to practice the standing jump (he was second place in his group) and speed walking. He didn't grasp the need to speed walk, but walking backwards was all kinds of fun. He did enjoy running. He's a natural. Kinda. I think he'll do well in that when he's in competition.

But you know what's incredibly fun? Helping. Working with those special athletes is the most fun I've had in a while. I've never suffered from a competitive spirit and have always taken a "how fun is all this?" attitude toward sports, so it's just perfect for me. A lot of the athletes will never, ever grasp the idea of competing to win, and that's okay. One athlete didn't grasp the standing jump idea. She translated it into "jump, jump!" as on a trampoline rather than actually propelling yourself forward. We worked on "let's try jumping one time" and she said "one time!" as she hopped up and down repeatedly. It was so fun. She laughed and I laughed and we had a great time.

Once the athletes that take competition seriously took over the gym, the rest of us headed into the hallway to do some laps. This was fun. There were water fountains, tables to sit at, and vending machines. The distractions proved too much for our group and we quit early. It was a good thing because once Micah spotted the vending machines he was done. He's all about food, all the time.

I don't know about Micah, but I'm really looking forward to weekends. Working with the special athletes will be the highlight of my week. Although, next week I'm wearing a maxipad. My weak bladder does not support running and jumping without making the panties moist. I'm just saying.

18 comments:

AZ Chapman said...

oh wow, I am glad u found the SO. I can not wait to hear about his so jounery., I also did not know they started at 6. I always thought it was 8

Gina said...

I think that Special Olympics is one of the greatest organizations out there. I can't wait to hear all about it.

And oh man, do I hear you on the weak bladder...

Andrea said...

How super exciting!! I bet Micah is so excited, and I wouldn't be able to wait for weekends. That sounds like so much fun!!

And girl, I so have the weak blatter thing too, sigh.....

Karen Deborah said...

oh now your really killing me. Now why is it that we do not live in the same small town? I wannnnaaaa come!

the planet of janet said...

this will be sooo awesome for micah.

and for you as well. as long as you can get over that bladder problem.

Michelle said...

Oh how cool! I didn't know how that worked, but I love that you're getting him into that. I can't wait to see how he does.

And umm swim diapers? They're kinda meant to let water in and out so they don't get super puffy. It's the solids that they're really supposed to hold in :)

Krista said...

Yea Micah and Yea Karen! Working with kids is so much fun. I tried jumping on a trampoline a few years ago and had to go running inside!

Flea said...

Oh what fun! I'm so happy for you both. :) Will Sam get to experience the joy of helping as well?

The Sports Mama said...

I just have to tell you something, ok?

If I believed that God has angels here on Earth (and I do), simply to teach others how to recognize what's important in life and to see what matters and not to focus on what doesn't? I would be convinced that He had chosen you specifically for that job.

I am convinced.

imbeingheldhostage said...

I am so excited for Micah (and you)!! How fun-- I have the same sentiment, it's supposed to be fun (my husband doesn't quite get that). Love the picture :-)

Burgh Baby said...

Hello, TMI, it's nice to meet you. ;-)

caramama said...

That so great that he is old enough to participate! I've volunteered at the SO a few times (although it's been a long time), and I always thought it was such a fun time and everyone was in such good spirits. It's great that you can help them train too.

Is it being held in the summer? Doesn't Micah like to get naked to swim in the summer? (Or was it just be naked all summer, not swimming?) Cause the post-SO post about swimming could be VERY amusing!

HalfAsstic.com said...

Oh this is so wonderful! you know my down syndrome cousin that I told you about a while back, was in Special Olympics and swimming was her thing, too. They had always had a pool and she had been swimming since she was a baby. Quite the little fish, as you said!
Those events and get together's were a big deal for her and her family. Loads of fun.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Oh FUN FUN FUN!! I love Special Olympics. We've never participated due to physical limitations and such but we sure do support it. I can't wait to watch your blog for updates. Yes it's about FUN! Yes it's about winning . . . in the sense that winning = trying. I love it! : D

Lovin Mama said...

Sounds like a fun time! I'm not competitive either so I can relate. I hope Micah has a blast!

CC said...

So cool! I've done SO for the last 7 years with my students, but it's nothing they practice for. It's just a local thing with a few cities participating. There is no practice. We just show up and help them with their events. But everyone wins something :) :)

Trannyhead said...

Dude - you have cows?!

Special Olympics is, of course, totally hawt.

Michelle said...

Did you get Micah signed up with the Young Athlete program? I want to do that with Kayla but am a little confused to how it works. I found something for it on the southern Maryland website but it doesn't look like they actually have a program here in Charles county, but it says something about this kit can be done at school or at home and it's great for physical activities and balancing etc...so is this something I 'order' from them and they send me something? I just need to call the contact person already and figure this out!