LIFE WITH LIVY
| Episode 13: 7/31/2012 - My Olympic Dream
The Olympics, for many athletes, begins with a dream, a hope or a vision of greatness. Some start participating in a sport at a very early age more for recreation and to have fun with friends. Most try a variety of sports over time, some going on to play in high school and college. The majority of kids stop after that time. However, there are those special, gifted athletes that know from the minute he or she steps foot on a court or grips the uneven bars or wades into a pool that an unbreakable bond has been created. It is a bond and a love that is steadfast and guides them in their lives to follow their dreams.
Along the way, there are many sacrifices. The life of an aspiring Olympian is unlike the life of a typical child. Practice occurs year round perhaps three to four times a week or more with competitions also thrown into the mix. Priorities are rearranged and daily schedules predetermined according to the blow of a whistle or a coach’s insistence on getting there on time. Parents’ lives are one car ride after another to and from the practice facility. But on competition day, there is nothing like being a proud parent.
The life of a child with disabilities is similar in nature to that of an athlete. Therapy sessions occur several times a week or more. The sacrifices these children make are often thrust upon them not by choice but due to their physical impairments. Parents need to adhere to strict schedules because being late doesn’t mean staying afterward to make up the time, it means 15 minutes less of valuable therapy since clients are usually booked back to back.
Perhaps the greatest similarity between an Olympic athlete and a child with disabilities is the spirit that infects them and pushes them to their limits. The glory in a child’s eyes when he or she is walking for the first time without a brace for support is just as great as an athlete breaking a world record. They have both reached the pinnacle of their game and have spent many grueling hours to get to that point. It is the hope, determination and inspiration that carries them through. For a parent, there is no prouder moment. And for the rest of us, we watch in awe and admiration of their remarkable feats of strength, courage and perseverance, dignity and grace.
This video depicts Livy’s training for her “Olympic Moment”. She has a long way to go to reach her goal but every small step has opened our minds and helped us realize that she is capable of so much more. The gold metal she wears around her neck will be the hearts and minds of those she inspires. She makes us believe that anything is possible.