Your own goal can be very different than your friend’s goal or your neighbor’s goal. Everyone has different achievements, passions, interests, and ability levels. But what is important is that we don’t put a “speed limit” on ourselves or others. In my book there are no cant’s, wont’s, will not try’s, or I doubt that’s. I do not like these words, and not just because of the bad grammar, but because it is negative and implying a “speed limit” exists. I define a “speed limit” as a boundary or a restriction from possible to impossible. No matter what situation you are in, what complication you acquire, or what disability you have. There are no speed limits. Make that “impossible,” a “possible.”
My wonderful mom (a.k.a Lori Meyer) is a CDC teacher who teaches students that are severe to profoundly disabled. A CDC teacher is a special education teacher for a comprehensive development classroom. I remember one of my mom’s very first students. This child was told she would never be able to walk or talk. This “never be able to…” was unacceptable to this family. So, the student, her parents, and the rest of her family set a goal for her and went above and beyond this expectation. They did not accept the limit that was put on them. She is now a high schooler who not only is walking but running and running fast. She is on the bowling team in high school. She loves basketball and can shoot a basketball at half court with ease. Plus, she is a very talkative girl that loves to run the show. There are many other children and adults with intellectual disabilities who are so incredible because they do not let their disability stop them.
There is this great organization called Special Olympics. In this organization, children and adults with intellectual disabilities compete as athletes. The races are challenging, but most importantly, during the races, the athletes prove to the world what they can do. It’s not about their disability, it is about their ability.
My mom is the one who got me involved with Special Olympics track and field. She has been a coach for 7 years. Her team even won the spirit award a few years ago (kind of a big deal). Every year their team has a motto and a theme. This year, they had t-shirts of their motto made that says, “No Speed Limits.” Wow, that really inspired me in many ways which ultimately motivated me to write this month’s article.
Just like most sports, before the big competition event the athletes and coaches train to get prepared to compete in the races they are in. Each race has heats and athletes can complete in events such as track, relay race, softball throw, and long jump. All the schools within our county come, compete, and show off what they got. The athletes compete with spirit, drive, and happiness. Special Olympics is something extraordinary to witness and it stays with you in your heart.
This is such a great day because you get to see the community come together and cheer on all the athletes. Every year that I am involved in Special Olympics track and field, I see the impossible become possible. To me it is inspiring because all the athletes, regardless of physical or cognitive impairments, are out there giving it their all, throwing the ball as far as they can, or running as fast as they can in the race. At Special Olympics they get to show off their abilities not their disabilities. Whether they come in first place or last. They are winners. They show all of us what they can do. There are no “speed limits” at Special Olympics.
So, I encourage you to never let those “speed limits” get in your way of achieving your goals. Do whatever it takes to reach your dreams, to get that mission accomplished. Just find that courage to give it your all.
Special Olympics motto: “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
I invite you to visit my YouTube channel Positively Jessica where you can learn about me enjoying life and my new “vlog the blog” series to see more about my blog creation and behind the scenes of this article. https://youtu.be/zODKR3gnrzA Enjoy!
All images courtesy of Jessica Meyer.