I really didn't think I live in a bubble, but I must. I had never really heard (or at least paid attention) about the Challenge Games until this year. Where have I been? What an amazing event. What a celebration of all the athletes and their accomplishments. When I first learned about the Challenge Games and that I had an opportunity to attend, I began doing research. What I learned excited me. This would not only be an opportunity for me to attend as Ms. Wheelchair Kansas, this would also be an opportunity for my son to compete. I would not only get to represent Ms. Wheelchair Kansas, I would also get to be the parent of an athlete.
My first big moment came when I got to meet Ryan Chalmers as he made the Challenge Games one of his stops on his Push across America. You can follow his journey at http://www.facebook.com/PushUSA. We had a nice conversation about his travels. I can barely push myself across the parking lot, let alone across America--how about you? :) I guess that's why he's the Paralympic athlete, not me.
I may have been a little star struck for a moment, but my entire day was filled meeting tons of heroes. The real celebrities of the day were the athletes. They didn't let anything stand in their way and I was super impressed by the support of their families and friends. Everyone was cheered all the way to the finish line no matter what challenges they faced along the way. I had the privilege of meeting people wanting a moment with Ms. Wheelchair Kansas. I even had the opportunity to meet some who have been following my blog and some I will be seeing again during my adventures this year.
After all the hard work of the day, it was time to party. What a great time everyone had. There was dancing, pizza, and ice cream. What else do you need to have a great time??
|Challenge Game Veterans|
|Challenge Game Volunteers|
Well, maybe what everyone is waiting for--recognition of the athletes and all the medals they have won.
Check out more information at http://www.challengegames.org/ and pictures from this year's event at http://www.facebook.com/thechallengegames?fref=ts
This is an amazing opportunity you should all go to if you have the chance. I know I will be back--as the parent of an athlete.
Thankful thoughts for today:
Online garage sales
Doctors who listen to patients
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” ~Thornton Wilder