WICHITA, Kan.- For many kids, the chance to play sports is something they take for granted. But for one Wichita Middle School student, the chance to finally compete has been something truly special.
"Again, our goal is to finish strong. We're going to start strong and we're going to finish strong," Truesdell Middle School Coach Paul Myers coached his team up before the race.
When asked which part of a race is his favorite, Jimmy Lewis-Swain is quick to answer, "The water!"
The water at the end is a reward for a job well done. Running is no easy task for anyone, but for Jimmy, it holds extra challenges. He is, and always has been, blind. But don't tell him that.
"He doesn't realize some of the limitations that he has," explained his aunt Cindy Holt.
His mom chimed in, "Sometimes he forgets he's blind, I think is what it is."
Jimmy has to rely on the sounds around him and his running buddy to keep him on the course.
Taylor Kelly, a Truesdell Middle School teacher, ties a rope around her waist for Jimmy to hold for guidance at each race. She explained, "If he didn't want it, he wouldn't be out there. The fact that he shows up everyday and pushes himself. He's been getting better every single week that we've been doing this so he definitely wants it and he's pushing himself."
Jimmy runs for many reasons. Of course there's the water at the end, but like any athlete, he has goals he hopes to achieve.
"To run it in ten minutes," he confidently explained his goal.
Based on his track record, he will accomplish it. But f or now, it's enough that he's out there running at all.
Holt summed it up well when she said, "It was just so cool to get to watch him participate, not as a blind child, but just as a child running."