Real Mind, Body, and Soul Inspiration
Last week, Judge Dancers of all grades took to the stage for the annual, and much anticipated, dance concert. Concert 2010, entitled 'Mind, Body, and Soul' utilized inspiration from those three concepts and explored choreography on aging, insanity, and much more. While watching the dance concert it amazed me how dancers are able to use their bodies to create something so inspirational. That they were able to convey so much more than movement through their actions and it really drew attention to just how amazing the human body, mind, and soul are.
This concept, that the body can be a source of inspiration, was reiterated when I came across the news article "Running Down a Dream" The two seem quite different at first. How can a dance concert possibly relate to the U.S. Track Team? But they are closely related in my mind.
In the article I learned that 37 year old Amy Palmiero-Winters just qualified for the U.S. Track and Field team after winning the "Run to the Future" 24 hour race in Arizona that spanned 130 miles in one days time. That alone is a feat all in its own, that her body was able to endure such an unbelievable length of turf. She is also nearing 40, an age many see as a obstacle for any athlete. Oh yeah, and she is an amputee.
This woman, with a prosthetic on one leg and running shoe on the other, is able to compete with the world's best, and will be next month in France at the world championship 24-hour race with the U.S. team. Her feat has been compared to that of Jackie Robinson in terms of breaking barriers. Where he tore down racial obstacles in sports, she is an athlete showing those with disabilities can do anything anyone else can. There was question that her prosthetic may actually offer her an advantage in these races, since in 2008 double amputee and Olympic sprinting hopeful Oscar Pistorius was denied invitation onto the team for that very reason. Then it was found that having two prosthetic limbs, which weigh much less, would have given him an advantage in a short sprint, however in Palmiero-Winters' case, this isn't so. It was determined that over longer distances and with only one prosthetic, things are different, and stated:
Weyand also notes that Palmiero-Winters has less muscle than able-bodied runners to provide fuel in a long race. "I ran before I lost my leg," she says. "Is it easier now? No. Not even close."
She has no doubt done something amazing for the disabled community, but also shows the sheer determination and physical strength of any runner. Her upcoming schedule includes a 100 mile trail run through the Sierra Nevadas and a 135 mile run through death valley's brutal temperatures. She embodies all that dance concert had to say about the wonders of the mind, body, and soul and she did it all with one leg. She is an inspiration to all and shows just how far determination and hard work can get you, even in the face of adversity.