Monday, October 20, 2014

The Other Side of the Coin

Another Great Weekend in Central New York: 
  • The Marching Band climbed into the 90's at Central Square and are ready for the big Dome show next weekend. 
  • Our athletic teams won and lost, but they are all ready for post-season play. 
  • Favorable state rankings came out about the District. 
  • We held some incredibly successful family nights in a couple of our elementary schools as well!
I had the chance to personally experience both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat over the weekend. The thrill of victory came when I beat my wife at air hockey in a best of three series. As these games have become so competitive over the years, it was time to celebrate! 

On the flip side, she bested me at my own sport, golf. While we were getting pumpkins, we played miniature golf and she won by one stroke. I told her I was distracted by the giant pumpkin and orange chickens that were nearby.

Students Teach us How to Overcome Challenges: Last week in my blog (one of my most read blogs for some reason), I wrote about being terrified of heights after a negative experience in the past.  As luck would have it, my wife and I ran into a student at the mall who could not have been happier being suspended very high over Destiny USA Mall at a place called Wonderworks

As we walked under the ropes course, overhead we heard a loud, "Dr. Brown!"  We turned to find a high school neighbor and the mom of a middle school student. I looked up and saw the student high overhead practically running through the pods, platforms, and rope trails, grinning ear to ear. I shouted up to him, and we gave a quick air "fist pump" to each other as he went back to what he was enjoying.  My wife and I left the area energized.

When I met this student years ago he was unable to walk, but had the fire within. He was determined but frustrated the first few years as he worked as hard as he could to participate in everything that the other students did. When I visited his class he would always be excited, no matter how tough his day was. I can remember helping to push his wheel chair at the Special Olympics when he really wanted to run.

Through the years, he had many surgeries (I don't think 19 surgeries is an exaggerated estimate), but he kept his poise. I can remember visiting the building when he could walk and hop a bit on his own and remember the first time he jumped up to give me a hug. He was so happy! As he has gotten older and he has become a teenager, we keep our greetings to a fist bump, and he continues to progress. To see him soaring above the mall, happy and free, reaffirms that there is no telling where life is going to take him.

What I was reminded by him was that determination, perseverance, a positive attitude, grit, and no whining will get you where you want to go, and you might even inspire some people along the way. What a great weekend!

Enjoy the week-