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The Circles of Life

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The Circles of Life

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, sorry. Life. It gets in the way – and the majority of writing I’ve been doing has been helping me to get one step closer towards that little thing called graduation. So, perhaps we should just keep this between us and not tell those “others” that I’m spending valuable time and words on other things!

I couldn’t help but write this blog though about the great circle of life. Think about all the times in your life when you take a step back and say, “Gosh, I love how life works!” or “And here we are again, life has just come full circle!” We ought to cherish these moments more, and talk about them. They are truly precious treasures.

I have been fortunate to have many of these “circle of life” moments in my life. First off, the fact that my childhood hero Jean Driscoll is now one of my dear friends and life mentors. That story is unique in and of itself – what started as me as a child being totally star-struck and enamored by Jean and her accomplishments led to my getting involved in wheelchair sports, setting goals for myself, dressing up as the winner of the Boston Marathon on Halloween, even writing a story in the third grade called, “when I meet Jean Driscoll” and then coming full circle in 2007 when our offices were diagonally across the hallway from one another, and we were colleagues. It then even went one step further when we both discovered our shared passion for international outreach and disability development and we took an eleven day trip with a team to Ghana to teach wheelchair track clinics! Wow – that’s full circle alright!

Tonight, the first weekend in a loooooong time that I’m actually home, I decided to tackle the project of organizing some files, press clippings and assorted papers that had ended up in a giant pile waiting to be dealt with. During this organization project, I came across this newspaper article from 2001. One section of the article reads:
“’The volunteer work keeps me busy most of the rest of time I’m not skiing,” she says. The speeches, which have expanded in number and place every year, started when she was in second grade. “I try to get to as many as I can,” she said. “It’s so much fun. I absolutely love it.” While she doesn’t know what she wants to do in college or after, she has her sights set on one goal: the 2006 Paralympics in Italy….The speeches are about sports for the disabled. “I hope to be in the Paralympics,” said the confident Pratt. “I think I’m heading in that way.”.

Wow. Full circle alright – albeit with some slight alterations in the plan ---i.e., a switch from winter sports to summer sports—I have gone on to compete in the 2008 Paralympic Games and am actively training as a 2012 hopeful. There’s something fascinating though with the determination and plans as a young kid and to be able to take a step back and to see what has become a reality. What were some of your childhood goals or aspirations? How many have come true? How has your life plan altered slightly? Are the underlying values the same as they once were? I’m astounded that my underlying message and my passion for speaking to others and helping other’s recognize their own potential has remained unchanged.

This is, the great circle of life.


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