I wanted to start the new year with thanking the many athletes who have shared their sports stories with me. All of you have provided me with new insights and greater motivation to write. I also wanted to thank all of the readers who support Team Possible by sharing posts or leaving comments. According to my “end of year report” from WordPress, your enthusiasm for stories of athletes who redefine ability has fueled this blog to be read by over 8,000 viewers in 77 countries. Although I will not use numbers to define my writing success, it certainly is validating to have nearly 500 followers. However, what encourages me the most are the comments from friends of Team Possible like:
I share all of your posts with my colleagues who are working on an inclusion task force.
I shared your post with my students.
I am designing a playground at work, and because of your posts I am truly integrating the accessibility features for all the children to play together.
I shared your post with a family member who has a child that is exceptional.
My son loves the post about Winter. Now, he has me read it to him at bedtime.
When I get the email about a new post, I save it until I have some time in my day to sit back and read it. They always make me think and reflect.
Think and reflect…I do lots of thinking and reflecting. It is simply part of the writing process. After rereading every interview from 2015, I selected the words from Team Possible members that have truly made me sit back, think and then get moving:
Nick Springer: Strength has nothing to do with what you can do when you are at your best, but what you can do when you are at your worst.
David Yates: They saw Winter and thought, “If this little dolphin can lose her tail and still live a dolphin life, then I can handle my problem.”
Jesse Billauer: Ability is following your passion and being active in life.
Mackenzie Soldan: Grit is a good word. I would say it is taking a situation and fighting your way through it.
Zack Bastian: I’ve noticed that in my life when things get really bad I have an ability to turn the situation into something positive, and that is my super power. When things get bad, I get inspired to work harder and be better.
Greyson Cage: I wish I had invisibility, teleportability, flight and super speed.
Jim Abbott: We have to challenge ourselves each and every day. You need to ask yourself if you are pushing the limits of your own abilities.
Abby Dunkin: Ability is what you can do and not letting anything hold you back, no matter the circumstances.
Emilia Scovel: What makes a good coach is someone who knows how to make the team believe in each other and makes the team do their best.
Kanya Sesser: I think of myself and imagine myself reaching the goal.
Sydney Collier: Don’t get discouraged. It seems like a long journey and it really is. There are all these ups and downs along the way. Just keep your eye on the goal.
Cortney Jordan: Ability is doing your best and putting all your effort into something. It is demonstrating what you are capable of.
Malat Wei: Always have a positive attitude around your teammates. A positive attitude will get you wherever you want to go in life, and not just in sports.
Nick Newell: I am more of a Batman type guy. I take what I have and make it work. Then, I go about it the smartest way possible. No superpowers. Just always working with what I have.
Rio Woolf: You can do anything.
Impressive, I know! Those wise and inspiring words have motivated me to keep going and to interview more athletes in the upcoming months. In 2016 you can look forward to meeting more athletes on the Road to Rio and beyond. Since I LOVE children’s book, you can plan for some book reviews, and I may even sneak in a documentary or movie review. Finally, I will weave in a personal essay or two throughout the months. It should be an exciting year. Thanks for joining me.
Keep Believing in the Possible!