This past weekend our buddy Jack competed in his second collegiate track & field meet at George Fox University, as he continues his attempt to qualify for the 2016 Paralympic games. Jack had a poor week of training leading up to the race at George Fox University. He had to cut his training session short on Tuesday, due to illness, and hadn't fully recovered by his meet on Saturday. With a tired and worn out body and immune system, Jack entered the race knowing that it would be difficult to break his personal best of 69.8 seconds. He ran a great race, but wasn't able to set a new personal record. He finished with a time of 71.33 seconds.
The best part about watching Jack compete is the pure joy that he brings to the stadium. The crowd roars with encouragement as he comes down the home stretch of the race, the last 100 meters. His competitors, hunched over and tired after the race, look up with a smile as they see him approach them for a post race hug immediately after he crosses the finish line. Walking to the stadium to thank his grandparents for attending, random people smile and congratulate him on a race well ran. It is truly an amazing thing to witness and makes me proud to be his coach.
About the Author
Ryan Lockard, CSCS, CFNS, is the head trainer and founder of Specialty Athletic Training. He is the Immediate Past President of the Autism Society of Oregon's Board of Directors and is accredited by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, as well as by the International Sports Science Association (ISSA) as a Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Ryan has worked with children with special needs since 2007 and has over 10,000 hours of 1:1 instruction working with individuals that have various special needs.