Determination that Inspires

My son came early, about two months before he was expected. His mother was in the audience while I performed as Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew when the labour pains began. It was a rush. It was a surprise.

While Dylan was early getting started with life, he was a little late in developing. In 2001 we found out why -- cerebral palsy. At the age of three, while kids his age had been running around for two years, he was still crawling to get from place to place. After he finally found his legs, he concurrently became very good at falling, and getting back up again like nothing happened.

His cousins, his friends, his teachers drew on his determination and perseverance. He was roundly admired for his positive attitude and his ability to overcome adversity.

But, while full of determination and many other things, Dylan is still a boy who wishes he could be normal. "I just wish I could keep up," he shared through tears. "I wish I was good at just one sport."

I was at a rare loss for words, heartbroken that I didn't have an all-healing answer. What I did say was that just by participating he is a champion, that if his classmates had 50 pound sacks on their shoulders they would have a hard time keeping up, too.

The next day one of the aides at the school commented to Dylan's teacher how delighted and surprised she was to see him running around playing with his classmates.

That was earlier this fall. This week, his gym class played a game where a maze had been taped out on the floor. You had to use your balance and your wits to work your way through the complicated puzzle. When you went off the path or hit a roadblock, you had to go back to the beginning and start over. Right near the end, as the students were yelling "Go diagonal! Go diagonal!" Dylan remembered that going in that direction hadn't worked for anyone else, so he went straight. He was the first in his class through the maze.

The gym erupted in cheers. And while he has had countless victories, it was the first time he came in first among his peers. As he told me the story tonight his cheeks flushed with pride and his eyes were bright with joy. It was moment of sheer perfection, of inspired determination.

January 7, 2010 - 203.4 pounds, 30.1% body fat


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