“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
~Special Olympics athlete’s oath
When I started taking Rhema to gymnastics she couldn’t stand the feeling of the mat beneath her bare feet and she was deathly afraid of the foam pit. After she adjusted to the mats she spent the next several years running circles around the gym with a volunteer dispatched to follow her for safety reasons.
Last fall she was paired with Shea, a highschool senior, who expected and believed more for Rhema. The whole team did. And that’s all it took.
Rhema has blossomed in gymnastics this past year and done more than even I could have imagined.
This weekend the qualifying meet for the Special Olympics Summer Games was held at MIT.
And we went.
And she! did! it!
She tolerated the leotard (beautifully). She made it through the whole meet (only unraveling at the end). She waited (a lot). She smiled (a lot)! She did the routines – floor, vault, bars and beam (her way, of course). She did her own salute – the high five. 🙂 She qualified for the Summer Games (Woohoo!). Most of all, she was HAPPY. So I am happy. And so proud.
Yesterday God answered a little prayer of my heart that I prayed a long time ago. (Click here for the back story). And He gave me the wonderful blessing of watching Rhema overcome all her struggles. She stood high over limited receptive and expressive language, vaulted above poor imitation skills, rolled over a “short attention span” and a host of sensory issues.
I thought of all of her team – her family, her teachers and therapists, her sitters/caregivers, her previous coaches, and friends –some of whom she’s never even met – who pray for her and cheer her on… what can I say? THANK YOU!!! HOORAY!!!
Y’all, I almost got out there and danced my own floor routine.
This was five years in the making. And anything really is possible.
Thank you, Shea!