Wednesday, March 16, 2011

These Are the People

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Sportswomen of the Year banquet honoring female athletes all over the state of Colorado. There were dozens of sports represented and a variety of women ranging a complete spectrum of ages. However, it was the three para athletes, and me tagging along, who--in my eyes-- stood out in the crowd with the most courage, strength, and motivation to be there.

To be an athlete is hard enough. You must be equal parts disciplined and determined. You must be willing to make sacrifices for your sport. You must believe in yourself above everything else. You must be willing to try.

For that alone, athletes of all kinds are inspiring; but I now know that the athletes that I most admire are those involved in para sports or disabled sports or adaptive sports or whatever you want to call it. These people are athletes above athletes.

These are the people that have overcome obstacles that most people can't even imagine.

These are the people that take their health very seriously and with one step at a time. These people know all too well that, at any moment, their sport could give way to their health, or lack there of.

These are the people that are forced to start at a level below the norm and exceed so far beyond it that it is, from then on, forever out of sight.

These are the people that keep the world remembering that there are limitless possibilities to what a human being can REALLY do.

These are the people that get out of bed every morning with a smile, because they know what it feels like to not be able to.

These are the people that, while simply striving to be normal and ordinary, raced much further and became extraordinary in their own right.

These are the people that give every ounce of all that they have, because they have to. They have spent so much time trying to compensate for something that they have lost or something that they may have never had; that without this struggle, would never have been able to put their WHOLE self into it.

These are the people that smile in the face of troubles and woes, and react with grace and fervor to every complication thrown their way.

These are the people that, without them, the world wouldn't be able to recognize a true hero.

These are the people that I strive to be in every single moment of every single day, because I can...

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