Special Olympics Florida-Monroe County SUP Team
After many months of ignoring a stirring in my soul, doing everything I can to keep the longings for change in check, yesterday it was brought to my attention by someone I admire and respect deeply, that I am overlooking an opportunity that can answer the calls of my heart AND make huge differenced in peoples lives. Tears came to my eyes as her words were felt by my heart—the inside core of me that had been longing to be heard. I realized how selfish I have been in not asking for help.
The catalyst to the TIPPING POINT—-
This article was published in my hometown newspaper, The Jupiter Courier, causing attention to be brought to the SUP in Special Olympics movement that is sweeping across Florida and beyond. There have been other articles, social media and press about all of this—-but this one hit me hard. I left Jupiter as a young girl, not well-known, a young girl who was always in the background in high school and who was known for not making very good choices socially. The contacts that came from this article were a bit overwhelming–personally and professionally.
Yes, I am from Jupiter originally and my childhood is on the Loxahatchee, but my home and heart reside on this island of the most giving people I have ever met! On our island, when someone is in need, there is an uprising of help, there is always an awareness of each other and even when we do not agree, we work to make a difference, we strive to accept each other.
This article represents how a dream I had a few years ago has gotten much bigger! Each time highlights and success stories like these are published I am so proud, yet it is getting overwhelming for me—a simple teacher who does not know how to manage all of this and does not seek public recognition.
This dream has grown beyond its intention of providing access to the water via a paddleboard to my Special Olympic athletes here on our island of Key West. It is a good thing that it has grown, but it also has distracted me from my island, myself and my peeps! Yesterday’s conversation reminded me to bring it all back home to our island–where the magic happens.
When people and Special Olympic Coaches from around the State of Florida, along with people in other states, email and call me, wanting to get programs going in their areas, I feel pulled. My day job as a teacher and the program I run has its responsibilities and now more keeps piling on. The inner conflict of trying to handle something I know nothing about–business, press and the next steps for this dream — have caused me to neglect my own health and wellbeing. Until yesterday, I truly thought that this conflict had to be fought alone.
The TIPPING POINT–brings me to the realization that I MUST ask for help in figuring out how to change my life so I can stop adding more to the plate–some decisions need to be made and I need help in figuring out how to do that.
In overlooking and undervaluing myself, I have also undervalued the people and organizations who have joined in the dream, to make a difference in the lives of people on our island. Realizing that, makes my resolve to implement changes even stronger.
The TIPPING POINT —-the realization that the dream is now a reality and there must be some definition to it all.
It is time to refocus–time to bring the mission back to where the dream started, refine the mission and act on it:
at a picnic table in front of a paddleshack at Hurricane Hole Marina on Stock Island
in the currents of the Cow Key Channel
on a paddleboard in shavasana
in Shark Key Channel and Gieger Key
One of my greatest defects is dreaming and have a passionate vision, starting a project, getting it off the ground and soaring, rejoicing in it and forgetting to define where we are going! and then there is a crash—–Yesterday’s conversation helped me see that there does not have to be a crash–that this island has a magic ability to help this dream sustain itself
Today I feel some hope that it is possible to create some space in my life–I really want to be the best Ruth I can be so I can continue to make a difference for my peeps!