Marathons – You Can Overcome Any Obstacle
|October 22, 2009||Posted by healthsmartmom under Exercise|
Physical challenges don’t have to rob you or your loved ones of a full life. Many physically challenged people make great strides in their lives each day. If you want to participate in a marathon, don’t let your physical challenges hinder you.
We have read stories in the newspaper and magazines about accident survivors. They lose limbs or develop mental impairments but continue to reach for their goals in life. Through the ridicule and other hindrances, they persevere to change the perception of disabled people everywhere.
One physical challenge to running a marathon is the absence of one or both legs. Limbs can be lost in wars, accidents, or at birth. Some children are born without lower limbs (such as sacral agenesis). This poses a significant problem when it comes to walking or running, but prosthetic technology has come a long way in the past fifty years to make life without limbs more manageable.
Other marathoners are physically challenged by paralysis of some kind. Spinal cord injuries can result in partial or total paralysis. For paraplegics, their legs no longer function making it impossible to walk or run.
Before all of the advances in technology and legislation for the rights and privileges of physically challenged individuals, participating in a marathon would have been difficult. The physical aspect would be a challenge, but also the mental aspect.
Mentally, physically challenged people have to be strong to endure criticism and opposition when they undertake activities thought only for “normal” people. The mental hurdle is a tough one to get over. They need all the support from friends and family to beat it.
Physically challenged marathoners are provided with tools to make their race less of a struggle. Prosthetic limbs are fashioned for runners. They are different from the normal prosthetic limbs in that they are designed to be more aerodynamic. This would be like a runner shaving the hair on their legs so air passes over freely.
Paraplegic marathoners use wheelchairs to race. These chairs are designed with aerodynamics in mind yet again. But, the real work is done in the mind and the rest of the body. Tough training regimens are the norm for all marathon participants. No one can just wake up one day and decide to run a twenty-six mile race, even if they are in shape.
All marathoners need good coaches and diets to get into a competitive state. That includes a support system to help in the good and bad times. Physically challenged athletes don’t need coddling; they need tough love to know you care and believe they can succeed. There are races for physically challenged marathoners to participate in, but they are not barred from competing in other races that don’t specifically cater to disabled athletes.
People of all abilities compete in marathons and that includes physically challenged athletes. If you or your loved one wants to compete in a marathon, go for it. Don’t let your physical differences stop you from fulfilling your twenty-six mile dream.