I have been invited to speak to a group of nonprofit leaders about “staying in it for the long haul.” I guess after you do something for 24 years, people are curious about why you have and how you have. I’ve given thought to my tenure with Special Olympics New Mexico and the reasons for my staying in the Movement, and a large part of why and how has to do with my being inspired – day after day, year after year.
The definition of “inspire” that resonates with me the most is “to breathe into.” That is exactly what happened at my first Special Olympics competition and every Special Olympics event since. As I watch people with intellectual disabilities compete – they breathe into me something sacred. A revelation so great that it requires my response.
Each time I watch a Special Olympics athlete – each time I am with them – I am able to say “Because of you – I …” The end of that sentence will change, but I can share a few examples that have remained constant.
TO THE ATHLETES OF SPECIAL OLYMPICS –
Because of you I work harder at things that don’t come easy for me.
Because of you I have faith in things that don’t seem possible.
Because of you I value honesty, kindness, courage, and acceptance more.
Because of you I don’t have as many wants and am more thankful for what I have.
Because of you I go slower.
Because of you my heart is happier.
Because of you my work matters.
Because of you I pray more.
Because of you I love deeper.
Because of you my life is better.
Thank you for always inspiring me – it’s because of you I am inspired to be a better me.