Monday, August 11, 2008

Lessons from the Men's 4 x 100 Relay

Sports enthusiast or have to love the victory from last night's 4 x 100 men's relay!

I just re-watched it and had goosebumps and was near tears the entire time. There are practically no words to describe the moment the team sees the #1 time on the board. But, who needs words when you have Phelps' face?

That pure, raw, energy of emotion could fuel an entire city! (Well, at least a house or two).

Here's what I learned from that race:
  • the past does not always predict the present (they had suffered defeat in the previous two games)
  • those most likely to win statistically can still lose
  • actions trump words
  • sometimes being the underdog makes the victory sweeter
  • team victories are multiplied in power over individual victories

Much will be written about that race for years to come; the athletes will never forget their performance or the feeling of the win. But, only here at zigzag will the race be viewed as a metaphor for those living with Asperger Syndrome and autism. Here's why:

  • the past does not always predict the present or the future (children with Asperger and Autism can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles)
  • those most likely to "not" succeed... can
  • actions trumps diagnoses
  • sometimes being an underdog makes the victory sweeter
  • team victories are mulitplied in power over individual victories (and every individual victory is a team win when your child is influenced by special educators, speech and language pathologists, resource specialists, occupational therapists, community members, church members, friends, and family!)

Our family will continue to watch the Olympics and cheer every awe-inspiring performance. We may not be able to anchor a Gold-medal-winning relay team, but we can do the best with what we have been given and turn in the performance of our lives with our lives.

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