Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Captain Teddy

Even before Teddy was born, I've been inspired by myTEAM TRIUMPH at different running events. It gives me a boost of energy (granted, it only lasts maybe 100 yards or so) to cheer for them, calling out encouragement for the Captain and Angels. myTEAM TRIUMPH designates able-bodied runners as Angels, who push individuals with disabilities in adapted equipment that enables them to safely and fully participate in a variety of events. These individuals are the Captains of their team, and they receive much cheering and encouragement along the course.

The thought had crossed my mind that I'd love to be an Angel sometime, and I even looked into it a few years ago but never made the commitment. I was amazed to discover myTEAM TRIUMPH participates in events ranging from 1-mile runs to a full IRONMAN. Not only do they have adapted running chairs, they have adapted biking chairs and special boats to pull Captains for swim events. Let's just say that I immediately discarded the thought of being an IRONMAN Angel. (The only way I'd become an IRONMAN Angel is dying in the process of trying to complete an IRONMAN.)

As Teddy has grown older, and we've learned more about what his world looks like, we thought myTEAM TRIUMPH would be a great opportunity for Teddy. He's such a social little boy, and we think he'll love cruising along to cheering crowds.

When I asked if anyone was interested in being an Angel for Teddy on Facebook a few months ago, the amount of support was overwhelming. I had a number of people who didn't quite realize that being an Angel means running (and pushing) the entire length of the event. I think perhaps some of those eager volunteers will be along the way cheering for Teddy, rather than pushing him. I easily found two others willing to be Angels for Teddy since Angels run in packs of three (one to push, one to engage the Captain and one to clear the way so to speak). I'm beyond excited to be an Angel for Teddy and to help give him this experience. (I had to restrain myself from signing him up for multiple events ... maybe next year.)

We went to our first training run tonight, but it was a bit less exciting than I anticipated. I'll blame the rain for scaring off everyone except for Teddy's angel Ashley. The three of us still had a really good time running, and Teddy didn't get us too lost. Hopefully next time we go there will be a few more people.

We're signed up for the Fox Cities 5K on September 17. Since we're having AJ's birthday party later that day, it will save our families an extra trip by combining the two events into the same day. I'm sure I'll be wiped when I run the Fox Cities Half Marathon the next day, but it will be well worth it to earn my Angel wings with my son.

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