By Kodey Toney
Pride, In The Name Of Love
Let me tell you the story of the little engine that could. This isn't the classic story by Watty Piper that tells of the small engine who uses positive thinking to make his way up a large hill...but then maybe if kind of is. This is the story of a child with autism, that would rather sit around playing video games and computer programs than playing sports, but found himself so overcome with excitement that he far outran his competition during a track and field event.
Now, I'm a huge proponent of the fact that winning isn't everything, especially when it comes to Special Olympics, but I've got to be honest it's great seeing Konner run hard and get excited about winning. I'm just so proud of his effort.
He's not athletic, at least he's not into athletics. He played soccer, and enjoyed it, but had more fun standing on the sidelines helping coach.
Jen started a couple weeks ago with him and started having him run from point A to point B. He did fine, but I'm not sure he was trying his best. He just wanted to run a few times and go inside to get back on to the computer. They also worked on the softball throw, and while he did ok with this he again wasn't really into it.
I tried talking to him a couple days before. I explained things in a language I thought he would understand. I told him he needed to act like he was Spencer from Thomas the Train and go faster than all the other trains. He had to stay on his track (in his lane) and keep going until he made it to the station (the finish line).
So when the actual competition came around Konner showed up amped up and ready to go. He was jumping around when he got there and told me that he was going to race the wind and his shadow. He couldn't sit still and decided to warm up. He took off down the track and kept running until the kickoff. I thought he would be tired by the time he had to race, but he was fine.
His name was called, and he gf to the line, turned the wrong direction, and had to be redirected. When the whistle blew to start the race Konner got a bit of a late start because he was covering his ears, but that was only a split-second and then he was off. He moved quickly down the track, but slowed as he was passing the other runners because he kept looking back at them. Then something kicked in and he sped to the finish line and won first place. He then placed second in the softball throw.
He had a fun day, and did his best, and it was a great experience for him and me.
Even if he hadn't won I would have been proud of him, but because he ran as fast as he could and did his best it made me very proud.