"So you're just gonna leave us?" Coach Smith asked Cody, one of the athletes at the Special Olympics training Monday.

“I’m tired,” he responded as he sluggishly walked toward the exit of the track and field.

Cody exited and stopped to rest on the school wall. One of the volunteers walked over to Cody and spoke to him.

He still had to run one more 100 meter dash to complete his track practice, but he was just not feeling it. He was ready to go home.

“You’re back. Are you going to run?” Coach Smith asked.

Cody nodded and raised his eyebrow at her. In his mind he was saying, "What did you expect?"

He walked to the 100 meter starting line, waited for the gunshot and took off. Everybody - parents, coaches and athletes - cheered for Cody as he ran his hardest. Once he crossed the line, he fell to the ground and caught his breath.

His teammates were proud of Cody for finishing practice. He was proud, too.

This is what sports and being a part of a team is about. You learn not to cut yourself short, and you learn how your actions affect others. Once this is learned, it is embedded into your lifestyle. You never cut yourself short with anything. You always try hard and never give up when you consider others.

I’m so glad Cody is challenging himself mentally and physically. He has the rest of his team to cheer him on and keep him going. All of the athletes get to go home feeling accomplished and look forward to doing better the following week.     

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