Running, the perfect participation sport

I really hadn't heard of the Paralympics until August 2012, right after I was discharged from the hospital and Oscar Pistorius was in the headlines. Of course, Pistorius was in the headlines before that during the Olympics Games, but I wasn't paying attention tot he Olympics while in the hospital.

The Paralympics  parallels the Olympic Games and is for those who have sustained disabilities.  Although, not called the Paralympics at that time, it was started for a group of British WWII veterans who had suffered spinal cord injuries.

I started thinking about this because and also about sports for people in the position I am, really no longer disabled, but not really fully-abled either.

There are many sports that are for both wheel-chair participants and fully abled-bodied persons.  Basketball comes to mind.  There is wheel-chair basketball, and regular able bodied basketball.
I really wouldn't be able to participate in either.  I am no longer a paraplegic, so I wouldn't qualify for that type of league, and given my "recovered, but not at pre-injury level" I really couldn't participate in a neighborhood pick-up game.  The best I could do is to play a stationary version of H-O-R-S-E.

Tennis would present me with the same issues.  I can't play wheelchair tennis, but there is no way I could compete with fully able bodied players.

That's where running comes in.  Races are open to all levels of ability: those in wheelchairs, albeit these racers use tricked out wheelchairs for racing, the fully able bodied, and those who are like me, fully recovered, but not fully able bodied.  And I wouldn't be competing directly with others, it would be with myself - competition with others would only be in finish placement, but it's not a matter of going against one another and having one winner and one loser.

Originally I had wanted to run a 10K as a way of objectively proving to myself that I have come back from my injury, but it really is the perfect sport because people of all levels can participate at the same event at the same time.  Because of this, more so than most other sports, it is a sport of inclusion.



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