This last week of 2017, we have looked at some of the moments that define the movement here at Special Olympics Southern California. There were so many, but we are attempting to give you the “Best of 2017.”
Today, on the final day of 2017, we wrap-up our “Best of 2017” with this story about when to listen to that little voice in your head, and when not to. Board member Brian Erickson brings us this tale of believing in yourself.
“My best experience of 2017 was coaching track. I work with the long distance runners, and one athlete, Kate McLaughlin, was competing in her first year. She qualified to go to the Summer Games and was very excited. She ran the mile in her best time ever and although she was very excited, she was exhausted and concerned about how she would do in the 800. And there wasn’t much time to rest before the 800 started.
“So we walked the track together, going over what she would do at each turn. We set goals for time splits that would make this her best time ever. As the start was approaching she got more and more anxious, to the point that she wasn’t sure she could even run the race.
“So we looked back at what we had been working on all year. ‘…when that little voice in your head tells you that you have to stop, you can keep going. You aren’t that little voice and it doesn’t limit you…’ Well she did run, and turned in exactly the time she set as her goal. A personal record!
“When I ran up to her after she said the little voice kept telling how much pain she was in, and she had to stop. She remembered that she wasn’t limited by the voice, and she just kept running. She said she now knows she can always go past when the little voice says stop.
“Blew me away. Of course then she asked where does the little voice come from if it isn’t her. I promised her we would handle that next season. I always get so much more from coaching these athletes than I put in. Truly remarkable.”
Follow Special Olympics Southern California throughout the final week of 2017 for more of the best moments from the year. Moments included an undefeated season by the LA Galaxy Unified Team, a first pitch at Dodger Stadium, an introduction to flag football thanks to the Los Angeles Rams, and some “firsts” throughout Southern California. Follow on Twitter and Instagram @SOSoCal or on Facebook at SpecialOlympics.SoCal.