Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Learn 2 Skate Day 5: Champ

There is one boy in the Andersen group that has Cerebral Palsy. He has been a total champ out there. He actually doesn't have full control of his motor functions. CP is caused by damage to the motor control centers of the developing brain. The term CP can refer to a wide variety of issues, but for this boy it means that he doesn't have full control of all the muscles on his right side.

Think about how hard it must be to be 6 years old with CP. Now think about how hard it would be to be 6 years old, have CP, and ice skate. He could choose not to do this. No one would question it.

He might fall a lot (and he does).

It might be hard to get up once he falls (and it's hard).

It might be discouraging (and it is).

But, he's still doing it. In fact, he is doing it about as well as many of the other kids.

Today this boy was discouraged. It was really hard to get up after falling today. He seemed to be on the ice a lot. I kept saying, "O.K. get up," but it is just not that easy. So here is what I want to say to this Andersen First Grader. This is what I hope he knows deep in his heart.

"The whole purpose of Learn 2 Skate is summed up YOU! 150 First graders are all trying something that they would have never imagined they could do. It is scary to many of them, but You have shown courage! Don't give up and don't be ashamed when you fall. Finding out that you can do something that is hard or scary is the real reason we are here, and you might fall while you are doing that. Yes, we are learning to skate, but we are learning to be people first and foremost. We are learning from you, keep up the good work!"

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