Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Love Story

This summer I wanted to find a charity or an organization that        
I emotionally connected with and could commit long term to help make a difference.  I looked into a lot of different options but in the end I was really drawn to the Special Olympics. I decided to pursue becoming a Special Olympics coach.

This past weekend I was blessed to be part of an amazing
experience at the Special Olympic Athletic Leadership Program.
There was so many amazing athletes and other mentors. I learned 
a lot about what it takes to be a mentor/coach a friend and a lot about myself.
I was partnered with a boy named Ryan who plays competitive baseball, is a swimmer, loves pigs and is was painfully shy. It took some time for Ryan to open up to me but by the end of the weekend we became great friends. As you can see Ryan loves to mess around!

The ALP training was awesome; I learned how to effectively communicate with special needs athletes, coach and officiate Special Olympic athletes. The best part was that I made friends 
and connected with people that I normally never would have 
before and I’m a better person because of them and because of 
the experience.
I’m excited about my future as a Special Olympics coach. I already committed to help coach a softball team and volunteer at the All Star Softball Tournament in October.  I’m super excited to put my training to use and work with athletes.

The theme of the weekend was “Make Your Mark” how you are going to inspire others? What will you do to improve the quality of someone else's life?

Those of us that are blessed to not have any physical or mental limitations do not know the challenges, obstacle and emotional hardships a challenged person deals with on a daily basis.  

The next time you see someone who has a special need say hello, heck why not hug him/her or give’em a high five.They are just like you, they are hoping for approval and friendship.

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