I recently published an essay about my son’s experiences with his first multisport race. He is autistic and the experience, for him and my family, was transformative. This essay has gotten a warm response. Zachary’s experience with multisport is, of course, not unique. In fact, I would argue that triathlon and related endurance sports, such as running, are uniquely well-suited to inclusion.
Our own dignity and humanity are reflected in how we treat those who are disadvantaged. I have personally witnessed beautiful acts of kindness and generosity at countless triathlons and marathons. Sometimes, this brings me to weep even as I struggle with my own, rendered meaningless, discomfort, as I race.
I am interested in putting together a collection of essays about autism and triathlon and other endurance sports. Perhaps this could be made into a book, with the proceeds going toward promoting inclusion. For example, these proceeds could fund volunteers or adaptive bicycles.
Please share your thoughts and experiences. If you can, please share in this blog, drbriansmart.com, so that it is easier to organize. Also, if you have friends or family who may be interested in such a project, please spread the word.