I rarely write about heart warming stories but today I was inspired. As most people know the New York City Marathon was ran over the weekend and for everyone who completes it, it is a dream come true and years of hard work coming to fruition. Jimmy Jenson a 48 year old man crossed the finish line after 8 hours making him one of many. But what is special about his story is he is the first runner with Down Syndrome to finish the marathon. While Jimmy was running the marathon making history I was hung over on my couch eating Dominos and the day before I had trouble running 3 miles on a treadmill and he just ran 26.2 miles.
I hate the majority of political correctness, but one good thing to come out of the PC culture we live in these days is more acceptance of people with special needs and them feeling empowered to try and accomplish things 25 years ago people probably would have told them to not even try.
A cousin of mine has Down Syndrome and her school in Hunterdon, New Jersey has an all special needs cheer leading squad. And with more and more special needs kids winning prom king and queen we are seeing great strides in the acceptance of people.
I always hated the saying “you can do anything you put your mind to,” but it’s hard to deny that statement after reading this story. I’m not going to try to run a marathon now or change my life in anyway because I’m a lazy fuck, but for anyone on the cusp of going after their dreams but being held back I urge you to read this story and just go for it.
This story makes me think how stupid all these parents sound who bitch about their kid not getting a trophy for losing, or being angry when an opposing sports team runs up a score. You’re setting your kid up for failure and teaching them that being second rate is okay. Why don’t you parents take stories like this as an example and tell your kid if they didn’t get a trophy work harder and go win yourself a trophy. Don’t just expect to get things for showing up. Jimmy worked his ass off and set a goal and completed it. Jimmy wasn’t expecting a trophy or a medal just for showing up; he actually wanted to achieve something.
While PC culture has provided us some good things like more acceptance of certain groups, people need to stop taking it so far as to destroy competitiveness and drive in children. You want your kid to be a winner make them work for it, make the kid earn the trophy. And I’m not comparing Jimmy to a child because he has Down Syndrome, but if he grew up in a time with trophies for everyone maybe he wouldn’t have had the drive to try and complete the NYC Marathon.
This wasn’t intended to be a long article but I just wanted anyone who didn’t read this article to see it. I have also included a link to the Hunterdon Huskie’s cheerleading squad article.