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“When you are in a wheelchair you become limited to tarmac and places that are built up and I enjoy just not being in those places.”
When you’re seen as having a disability, you become limited to those things that others believe you are capable of. When we talk about seeing beyond disability we’re talking about the importance of breaking away from limitations in general, whether they’re working at a job or running in a marathon.
Cognitive differences and physical differences are both seen as disabilities, and we’re so inspired by this example of seeing beyond those limitations and achieving something amazing that we wanted to share it here.
Hopefully seeing these photos of hand-bike riders making their way to the summit of Cadair Idris in Snowdonia will inspire you too!
We’re so inspired by the amazing girls’ running club at Rise Academy and we’re honored that they’ve chosen the Central Park Challenge to be the culmination of their mentor and training program. Here, Amanda Grieger explains how the running club is changing these girls’ lives while supporting YAI’s mission.
Kristen Jones and I are teachers at Rise Academy, a KIPP charter school in Newark, New Jersey. She and I selected twenty 5th to 8th girls to participate in the program. Through the structure of a running club, 5th - 8th grade girls will learn to set fitness goals and be coached in how to reach their goals using individualized training plans. With the help of their coaches and sponsors, girls will use their training plans to prepare for a 5K race in Manhattan (goal of running it all without any walking!) We asked other teachers at Rise Academy, our friends and family members to each sponsor a girl. We carefully matched each runner with a sponsor, and began training just over a month ago. Below is the information that we gave the girls about the running club.
What are we going to do in the running club?
We’re going to run! And run and run and run and run. It’s going to hurt at the beginning, but by June you’re going to get in the best shape ever. You’ll also get to enjoy the outdoors in the spring, learn how to train for a road race, make new friends, and meet adult runners. We’ll train three days a week at West Side Park so that you are ready to run (without any walking!) a 5K race in Central Park (The Central Park Challenge) on June 1st! You’ll be running this road race with hundreds of other runners. In addition, every girl is going to get a sponsor to run with on this day!
What is a sponsor?
Every girl is going to be paired with an adult female runner. This adult will purchase each running club participant a pair of running shoes and cover the race entry fees. You’ll get to meet your sponsor before June, stay in contact with them through emails and phone calls, and they’ll run the entire 5K with you on June 1st! After the race that day we’ll have a celebratory brunch in Manhattan. Hopefully your sponsor will be someone who will inspire you to become a runner, and who you will stay in contact with even when this program is over!
Amazing! We can’t wait to see the girls cross the finish line in their hot pink T-shirts!
One of our veteran teams put together a special photo top ten list, to describe the reasons why you should register and join us on June 1 this year.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!