Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Paralympic Problems

I've heard a lot of people express their disappointment regarding the conclusion of the Olympics. I totally understand, but let's get real, football is starting so that will ease the pain. For those who aren't football fans, the closing ceremonies can trigger emotional distress. However, it doesn't all need to end so soon. You have the Paralympics to enjoy after all. Maybe nubs aren't your thing, so you don't plan on watching. Instead, you would rather wallow in your post Olympic self-pity. If this is you, I think I may have a story that can put a smile on your face. And it makes me look like a fool.

You're welcome.

Sometimes, Porter goes around and shares motivational messages with schools, teams, and various youth programs. If you grew up Mormon, you may have gone to what is called a "fireside" where someone typically shares an uplifting and spiritual message with the youth in our church ages 12-18.

Sometimes, youth leaders make mistakes and invite Porter's wife to also speak. Even though PJ is typically the "keynote" speaker, I always have the hard job. Porter gives pretty much the same talk every single time. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. (Which for those who have never heard him speak makes for an entertaining evening. For the girl who has literally heard said talk a BILLION times, I often find myself day dreaming.) I'm usually tasked with speaking on the actual theme or topic of the evening and I'm supposed to tie it into Porter's message. Since themes and topics change, I have to write a new talk almost every time we do one of these shindigs.

(Side story: one time the theme was on "clean media" and I was asked to tie that into Porter's message of "overcoming adversity." What the crap? Pretty sure I used an inappropriate Breaking Bad example, but I digress.)

So here we are getting ready to speak to a stake center packed with teenagers and their parents. Here is how the rundown typically goes:

- Someone introduces us as the speakers
- I speak flawlessly. *JOKES*
- They play this nice little introduction video of PJ
- Porter speaks
- We eat cookies, shake hands, and go home

During this particular fireside, I was asked to introduce us and then go right into my talk. No problem, I can do that. Porter literally cringes when he has to talk about himself, so I was happy to brag about him. I stood at the pulpit, leaned into the microphone, and started listing his athletic accomplishments. As the list was coming to a close, I remembered that he had just competed in another Paralympic swim meet. I decided to share the results of said meet, but it didn't go as planned.

Me (following the majority of my introduction): "Porter has also trained and competed in various swim meets as he hopes to qualify and participate in the next SPECIAL OLYMPICS."

A few people laughed, but I was literally clueless. I had not yet picked up on the fact that I just told a few hundred people that my one arm husband was planning on becoming the next Ringer. For those who may not be familiar with the movie, here you are:

I finished my talk and sat down. According to the schedule above, we were queued up to show the intro video next. Before the tech guy even had a change to push play, Porter had raced to the pulpit.

Porter: "My wife has to do a lot of these things with me, so I'm afraid she may have misspoke on one account. I just want to quickly clarify before we move on that I'm hoping to compete in the Paralympics one day, not the Special Olympics."

I still don't see what the big deal is. Competing in either games would be an honor.

Until next time,


P.S. - But seriously, watch the Paralympics. These athletes are unreal.