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2002-09-14 - 7:37 p.m.

Iím ashamed to admit this. But I was moved to tears today. I understand that the antiquated male model of stoicness doesnít fit me, however, one thing that I like to pride myself on is that I can keep it together. At least in public. But this afternoon at the Softball Championships for Northern California Special Olympics I couldnít keep it in. It was the end of the time allotment and the score was 6-0 in the visitors favor. And just so you are aware, this was not some come from behind victory from the home team. They had lost, and everyone knew it. So the coach threw in his bench players. Yep, even the handicapped teams have bench players. A girl limps up, one arm curled into uselessness while the stilt on her orthopedic leg gave her a semblance of a normal gait. She smiled to herself as she approached the plate and took her stance. The umpire arranged her so that she was facing the right way. A ball was thrown. A strike was thrown. Becky swung too late. Two strikes. And then THWACK! The RIF ball flew in a graceful 10í arc and thudded into the ground. Beckyís arms (including the furled one) flew straight up in the air and a scream of pure joy came from her mouth as she ran the bases. Everyone cheered her on, the crowd, the other team, her coach and fellow players. It was a moment. She kept screaming well after crossing home plate, but it didnít matter. Damn it, but it was beautiful. It was too much. I had held it together during the opening ceremonies while the oath was read. I had held it together while the athletes marched around, full of themselves and the experience. I had held it together when a group of Down Syndrome girls shyly asked me to take them to the lunch line. But Beckyís banshee run around the bases proved a bit overwhelming. And so I ďappreciatedĒ the moment. Which is rare for me. Because when it comes to the handicapped, I mostly prefer to laugh at them. Wait, that doesnít sound quite right. I use humor as a defense mechanism. And the handicapped frighten me. Not because they are strong, or smell funny, or drool because I have those qualities at times, we all do. And itís not because I donít understand them either. I spent nearly all of my extra curricular high school time including summers working with the developmentally disabled, doing day camps, assisting in the Special Education classrooms, and writing papers about it. It was my cause, and my goal, through those naÔve years was to eventually become an advocate for people with special needs. I intended to get into Special Education Administration and change the worlds view. But I couldnít. And I didnít. This was on my mind most of today. Iím sure that Iíll be back tomorrow with my regularly scheduled programming. I wasnít going to even update, but Weetabix made me. Because it would be a stretch or something. It was the least I could do, She called to talk about her drinking, Iím not her sponsor or anything, just someone she could reach I guess. Although I do like to imagine that I am a higher power. But it was just making her wet, so the conversation ended. Plus I had a scoreboard to run. I think Iíll go grocery shopping now, as I probably have the patience to sit in line at the store, introspectively examining my life. Within easy reach of Mint flavored Oreoís.

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Zen and don't cry out loud - 2007-07-29

Zen and the stumbling rocks of fitness - 2007-07-19

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Zen and fasting - 2007-06-20

Zen and hiccups - 2007-06-18

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