This past July, 5 board members chose to embark on a journey that would not only strengthen them as a team but as individuals. The Spartan race would test their confidence, trust and love for each other.
I was hesitant to sign up, I was not in the best shape to participate in such a grueling event. I did not want to let my fellow board members down. On one hand, I didn’t want to embarrass them at the race, and the other hand I didn’t want to miss out on this amazing experience with them. After much positive peer pressure I signed up for the race, with my husband at my side, and I was scared to death! We did some training, not really knowing what we had gotten ourselves into.
Race day came and I was terrified. We lined up together to being the race, little did the board members know I had a small panic attack and I was letting my fears overcome me. I didn’t know what I was doing at the Spartan. It was not on my bucket list, I had no right to be there in the shape I was in and I am not the most athletic person.
As we walked/jogged along to the first obstacle I was overcome with the love of all our team there. We were there to support each other, to lift each other and cheer each other on, not to win according to the Spartan. We were there to finish the race together. Each team member played an important part of the race and I could not have finished it without them.
Unfortunately, not all of us were able to finish the race. Mary broke her ankle and was rushed to the hospital. The team rallied around her until they were able to transport her down the race course. Mary was sorely missed for the remainder of the race, but her positive vibes stayed with us as we carried on.
There were some humiliating moments, moments I didn’t think I could go one more step and moments I just wanted to cry. I pressed forward, one foot in front of the other, even though I wanted to quit. When we finished together it was the most glorious moment.
What does this have to do with Down syndrome? For me, there are times when I question my ability to be the best advocate, I question if all this therapy and the Dr. appointments are worth the trouble and IEP meetings, school placements the list goes on and on. There are times when I feel like I cannot give any more.
Then I look around, I see the EIDS community we have built. I see the board members volunteering hours upon hours to make this EIDS community thrive. I see our members come and support events, I hear of groups organically getting together and building relationships and making memories together.
The EIDS board is amazing. I could not ask for a better board, they are my people, my tribe and I love them for loving me where I am, despite my flaws. I hope you will all take a moment next time you see one of them and thank them for their service. They are what makes EIDS great.