Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Peter and Track

I like themes. So, now I am on a Special Olympics theme. Peter's Special Olympic days began when he was around the age of 10 or 11, not quite sure on the year. Kenosha was in the initial stages of forming a school aged Special Olympics team, and Peter was asked to join in or maybe I received a flier...can't bring my memory banks back to remember the details, but Peter ended up on the Track and Field Special Olympics team that year.
We, the family, thought this would be a great event for Peter, as we envisioned him the next "Forrest Gump". Why he could outrun any of us in an airport, he could outrun any neighbor kid, why he was destined for fame. Speedy Gonzales within two track lines. Twice a week, for several months, I drove Peter across town, so he could practice his skill of running. I am thinking, practice? Why Peter has this sport perfected.
Peter practiced, got the line thing down, and we awaited with great anticipation his first attempt at the 100 yard dash. This was the year the Special Olympics were hosted at Sara's high school and Sara's soccer team was acting as volunteers. Perfect, she could keep an eye on Pete. For some reason, and again I have a short in my memory banks, the day came, and we anticipated that Peter was not even going to participate in the event. Mmmm, oh that's right, he was not going to play basketball either the other day....some 10 years later. I guess that is his theme. practice, make them think that you will participate, change mind the day of the event.
So the day arrived, and we realized we needed to be creative in getting Peter to participate. In order to get Peter to run to the finish line, Tyler, Sara's friend and a person who Peter just loved, stood at the end of the finish line. See, Tyler told him if he ran, he could have the bag of Fritos that he would be waving in his hand so Peter could retrieve across the finish line. Peter agreed. Tyler stood waving Frito's, we stood in anticipation of Forrest Gump Juniors first race, screaming "run Peter" and Peter....you would think he was running for public office. He walked, waved his hand at everyone with that vote for me look, and somewhere after all his opponents had finished seconds...minutes, before, Peter crossed the finish line and retrieved his Frito's.
What happened to the kid who could outrun the best of us? "Idunnoknow". But he finished! He was thrilled, he got his chips, his last place ribbon and to him, he was a winner! That was really all that mattered.
Peter's track years continued where in the next several years when he did start to run, only, however, as fast as the person next to him. That was followed by a few years of all out brilliance where he proved he was quick, ran, ignored the people around him, went to State and captured first place.
Now, Peter has a new track routine. He starts out as if he will be in first, running like a mad men, and then about ten feet in front of the finish line, stops, waves, and walks. No amount of coercing will get this young man to keep running. It is just Peter, being Peter.
Maybe this will be the year, he runs fast again and finishes without walking and waving. We will wait, as always, with anticipation to see what will occur, We will shout loudly "Run Peter!" and no matter what the finish, we will have a good day!

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