I took a brief break from blogging to visit with my family.  Some of them are involved with the Maryland Special Olympics which were held last weekend so I attended a few of the softball games with them.  The Special Olympians truly are exceptional people and deserving of our respect.  The way they try so hard and support one another as a team is inspirational. The joy on their faces when they get a hit or catch the ball is quite unlike other athletes who seem to take their abilities for granted.  Every swing of the bat that connects with the ball is a moment of triumph. The accomplishment is huge because their efforts to get to that point were so hard-won.  I found myself caught up in their enthusiasm even though I had never met most of the players.

Attending the Special Olympics showed me how much we often undervalue ourselves and others.  I hope that I can  continue to remember what I learned that day:

 * Give 100% effort to all that you do,

* Don’t fail to appreciate your talents.  Share them with others and love yourself for being special,

* Find joy in every accomplishment, no matter how large or small,

* Respect everyone; we’re all special in different ways.

Congratulations to all of the athletes and volunteers who participated in the Special Olympics.  I’m still hoarse from cheering!