Archive for August, 2016

our race!

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oAgZ9JD0GfI

Costa Rica Special Olympics 2016

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

August 17th 2016

I have had the honor to be invited to participate for two years now in the Annual Regional Special Olympics Costa Rica. It really is incredible that the small town that I live in organizes such a big event. My hand made invitation, the Special Olympics calling my mom to ask which event I would like to participate in and the overall support from the community was amazing. There were 200 athletes that were invited to participate from the surrounding towns. The parade began at 8:30am. The coordinator had told my parents that me and my dad’s 25 meter race was going to start at 10:00am. This is incredibly early for me!!! At first I thought how in the world am I going to participate in a race that starts at 10:00am when I don’t normally get up until 11:00am! As you know from my past blogs, I am not the best sleeper. I have problems with sleeping at night. Mom tried to convince the director to let me participate at a later time but rules are rules when it comes to the Olympics! So we attempted the week before putting me to bed at 8:30pm. Mom read books after books to get me to sleep but that didn’t work so well. The night before the race I not only did not go to sleep at midnight but later that night at 2am I had a big poop. I am not the best pooper either so forgive me for saying that night I had a big one. My mom and dad not only had to change me, but change my sheets, my pajamas, and bathe me! I finally got back to sleep at 3:30am.

At 7:30am mom came into the room to check on me and at that time I had one eye open. She took advantage of me being half awake. She stripped off my pajamas put on my racing gear and was just about to brush my teeth when Natalia came in to help. From there Natalia took over doing my hair and finished getting me ready while mom and dad packed the car for the day. My best buddies Genesis and Gabriella came to support me and showed up at 8am. They were great to have along as my cheerleaders and kept giving me pep talks on how I could do it!!!! We made it to the event on time. We arrived only 10 minutes late. At that time everyone was standing around and my parents had asked what was going on and why the parade hadn’t started? It turned out that one of the buses carrying 100 athletes was stuck coming up a hill. It had rained very hard the night before. The school was anxiously awaiting of news to see if the bus would pass… Unfortunately it did not and the kids from Jicaral had to turn around and go home and were not able to compete that day. This was a HUGE thing! Today’s race was about taking times to be qualified for the big National race held in San Jose in November! We were all very sad to hear that the other kids would not make it. (note to municipality, pave the roads! We have been fighting for that road to be paved now for years! )

The parade started and off we went with two bands! One was leading the front and the other band behind us. We marched for a quite a while. I was in and out of sleep more of less. Thankfully mom remembered to bring my ear plugs, as I don’t do very well with loud noises having the ear plugs allowed me to enjoy the parade and catch a few shut eyes as well! We walked to the gymnasium where we had the grand inaguarcion of the Special Olympics. I was able to meet the most special man. He was very special indeed. He was an amazing individual who accepted his physical challenges and faced the world each day with a smile on his face. He was proud, he was happy, he had the most incredible smile. He spoke to the crowd about being different, about loving who you are, about not worrying about what other people think of you only that you should love yourself. He is a motivational speaker for people through out Costa Rica and I was so happy to have the honor to have met him. He kicked off the Olympics in a grand way! I was now awake and ready to go to the stadium where my dad and I would be racing.

You see last year, dad carried for my 25 meter race. Last year was not as organized as this year so when we showed up the director told my dad to run with me and that is what he did! This year we practiced. Since I am so heavy now dad needed a little bit of extra support. We used my old Moby wrap that my parents would carry me around in when I was a baby. Natalia was an expert at wrapping me up close to dad and we practiced for a week straight running 25 meters with me bound to dad!

When we arrived to the stadium the judges told my mom that dad would not be able to carry me and run he would have to push me in my chair. We were not aware of this as this did not happen last year. Mom was a little upset as she told the judges we would have been practicing running in my chair if we would’ve known differently! The judges told mom that if we wanted our time to be “qualified ” for Nationals we would have to run with me in my chair. Mom said….. What???? We didnt know we were being timed for the National event! Now the pressure was really on. It turns out that we were to run against other wheel chairs. I have to say looking back on the day that there were not many kids out there in wheelchairs. Only me and few others. By the time we were called for the race it was me and dad, another girl that could run, and a older boy in a wheelchair. The competition was quite diverse.

The judge came down with his white flag… On you mark,,,, get set…… go…….. Off dad went with me running away, but the girl who could run was fast. So fast that dad decided to slow down so she could win the race. Our time 8.15 seconds. we could have done it faster but dad is so cool and so sweet he wanted to give the girl the moment of glory who was running to win. There on the side lines was my mom, Natalia, Genesis, Gabriella, Chrissy, Kristine, and grandpa cheering me on. Genesis and Gabriella were holding my sign TEAM MALIA that Natalia and her family and friends had made for me. My two best buddies were jumping up and down cheering me on as was everyone else of course! There I was flying through the field with dad pushing me and me feeling complete joy. It was amazing! The judges took our time and told us they would let us know if we qualified for Nationals! It was funny because my mom being her competitive self said to dad you could have run faster that we were being timed! Dad had to tell my mom to not be so competitive and that at the moment the most important thing was for the other girl to win. That’s my dad…. And oh that’s my mom too…. She always wants me to be ahead! By the time we finished it was almost noon. We packed up and went home so I could unwind and have some lunch. There was a big Olympian lunch at the gymnasium at noon but we decided to go home so I could relax for a bit and then go back for the awards ceremony and for me to receive my medal.

We arrived just in time for me to get my medal. It was already an amazing feat that I had been up and out of bed by 7:30 actively participating in the day, racing, parading, talking to friends and strangers soon to become my new friends. It was so incredible to be able to be a part of this day. Today was about equality, understanding, loving and accepting differences. I am happy to call myself a TICA. I am proud of my town and I can’t wait to participate next year. Maybe just maybe dad and I made the finals….. Will keep you posted!
Love Malia

back in the groove!

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Happy!

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Amigas! :)

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Natalia aka Naty!

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

I haven’t had a chance to express my feelings about Naty, my new therapist. Naty came into the family at the beginning of December. I was not at my best. After having almost three years of not being ill everything decided to hit me all at once. It was not the best of times. Natalia, was newly graduated from physical therapy school and with very little experience with children with special needs but she decided to take on the job of being my therapist and committed to our family for a year.

All the strength that I had gained working out with Maria Jose over the years was gone from being sick and weak. My mind remembered how to do these exercises but I had to regain strength and control all over again. So we started taking baby steps.

Natalia over the last seven months has shown commitment, endurance, patience, willingness to learn, friendship and lots of love. She handles any situation with grace and ease. I can imagine how hard it was for her in the beginning as I was crying all the time from my stomach issues and I wanted to be pushed and entertained at all times. Constant crying can drive anyone crazy! Natalia soon was handling me as if she had always worked with kids with special needs. I had to prove to Naty that I was strong and resilient! Now 7 months later I am back to having great head and trunk control. I am weight bearing on my arms and legs. I have bounced back and Naty and I work out super together and we have become great friends.

I have to tell one of our crazy adventures we had together. Remember in December when we finally got my new wheel chair van? We went to the shop where they were installing the handicap ramp in the van. Dad had dropped us off and was on his way back home to Delicias.We were staying in the city a few more days as I was having to have blood and urine work done. We were headed to the clinic when mom pulled out of the shop carefully with my new car….. We are on a side road headed to the stop light of the main highway when there to our left is a big 18 wheeler backing up into a business to unload merchandise. Okay, mom brakes, doesn’t get too close letting the 18 wheeler back in, when all of a sudden the top of his truck takes down all the electrical lines above. The next thing you know the electrical lines begin to swing down towards us in our new van! OMG my mom let out the biggest OH JESUS…. DONT TAKE US DOWN NOW! The electrical cables came swinging straight for us but missed us by inches. All the electricity on the street went out, the stop lights stopped working and it was utter chaos! Thankfully we did not get electrocuted that day and the car did not get damaged! Again, us girls were in total control! Calm…. besides the hurdling scream mom let out when she thought the cables were going to hit us! We continued on our way, and made it to my appointment in time! That day everyone kept staring at us in the van…. We decided no one had seen such cute girls in such a big car! ;)

So back to Natalia, not only is she a wonderful person and great therapist, but she is my friend. Her family is the best too! They are always so sweet to us and many times when we were in San Jose while I was sick Natalia’s mom would send food, wash my clothes, and do just about any favor. I am so blessed and thank God everyday for bringing Naty into our lives. She is family now and I can’t wait to take her to Texas so she can meet all our family and friends.
Love Malia

August

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

August 10th
I have been so blessed to have so many friends come and visit me. Yesterday our dear friend Suzanne, Wil, Raquel, Julian, Vivian and Cooper just left back to Texas. There visit was a quick one only five days but it was much fun hanging out with them. We went to Kalapiti’s a couple of times for dinner and hung out around the pool. Thanks for coming to see me and for always supporting me at my benefit each year.

I was supposed to leave for San Jose yesterday. Me,mom and Natalia had a girl’s trip planned full of doctor’s appointments but Monday morning when I woke up it was pouring rain. We received over 5 inches in a matter of hours. The next thing you know we were getting phone calls that the temporary bridge the municipality had put up was covered now by the raging river. It wasn’t the best time of the year to fix the main bridge since we are in the rainy season now! We decided to cancel our trip for my doctor’s appointments for another two weeks. We were a bit disappointed but better to be safe than sorry as we weren’t sure what the weather would be doing the following day and if the river would have gone down! So in two weeks we shall try again!

Today my dad and I practiced training for my big race next week. Cobano is hosting the regional special olympics of Costa Rica. We are very excited to be invited and to be able to participate in the 25meter race! A week from today we will be competing! We are all looking forward to it.
Love Malia

Sunday…..

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Yesteday was a beautiful day. Full of sunshine and breezes…. I woke up pretty good only with a small seizure that didnt last too long. We then went to friends house for Sunday lunch. It was a really nice day full of laughter… Hoping to have a great week.
Love Malia