This is not really a hiking post, but I happened to watch the opening ceremony of the British Commonwealth Games yesterday and I was moved by the ceremony but especially inspired by the introduction of the 72 commonwealth country's athletes. As these athletes entered the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham UK it struck me that at the forefront of these athletes were athletes that were physically disabled in some way.
Seal of the Commonwealth Games Federation
The Commonwealth Games are the only multi-sport event with an integrated para-sport program. I thought this was cool and the other athletes supporting them. Although I am on the other side of my disability and recovering, I think I especially connected with these athletes as they too are refusing to become a victim of their own circumstance. I must admit they are so far more than I as my hiking challenge is a competition with myself. I really suck at hiking, although I can walk again, and my balance is improving, my lack of strength and stamina is apparent when most every other hiker just passes me by. It takes me twice as long to hike my selected trails as the advertised times on AllTrails. But I love it, I love being in nature, I love meeting other hikers. So, my challenge is with "myself", to keep pushing myself. For me it is the journey not the destination that matters. These athletes in the Commonwealth Games inspire me because they are literally putting themselves "out there" they are competing, not just with themselves, although I am sure that is part of it, but they are competing in a visible way with others. I thought a big shout-out to all those athletes and those not disabled athletes that are supporting them, and cheering them on, is in order. Oh, and not to forget the Commonwealth Games organizers who put this together. If you have a chance, watch, and draw some energy and inspiration from these athletes.