I have a confession to make, until recently, the Kings were the only hometown team I cheered for. I grew up in Los Angeles, but have always loved Seattle in large part because of my love of Pearl Jam. Since the Rams left before I had any real interest in football the Seahawks were my team by default. The Sounders of the MLS were another favorite, if for no other reason than those sweet green kits, though I recently jumped ship to the L.A. Galaxy. That’s a story for another post.
But back to football, the American type. I had just bought a Pearl Jam/Seahawks sweater when I heard that the Rams were coming back to Los Angeles, Inglewood no less. Good grief! But I refused to budge, I was a Seahawks fan through and through. Not like I would ever go to a game or run into Rampage, right? Wrong!
Since 2007 the NFL has hosted Play 60 events in every NFL city, and Inglewood would be no different. For those not familiar, Play 60 is a campaign which challenges kids to 60 minutes of daily activity. To help promote this cause they put on clinics for local school districts featuring players coaching kids through different drills and other activities. What does this have to do with me? I am an adapted physical education teacher, in other words, I teach P.E. to students with special needs. As such, it was suggested that I should accompany one of my students to the Rams’ Play 60 event. I won’t go into detail but I was pretty much going into this thing blind. I had no idea where we were going until I asked the bus driver minutes before leaving. I had no idea I would be modifying over ten physical activities for my student who was in a wheelchair. I thought I was just going to stand in line and wait for autographs. But I did what I always do at work, make the best out of a situation that was thrown at me without warning.
I had been working with this student for five years. In those five years I came to know about the many struggles he had to overcome on a daily basis. Needless to say having the opportunity to share this experience with him is one of my most cherished memories as a teacher. The look on his face and the way he talked about his experience made everyone who had been working with him extremely happy. With some modifications he was able to do most of the activities, we also took pictures with football players and of course got to meet Rampage! Everyone from the Rams organization was incredibly nice and accommodating toward him and words cannot express my gratitude.
Not a lot of people know the world of special education, but if I had to describe it in the simplest of terms I’d say it involves a ton of paperwork and tact. If I’m being honest, there are a lot of factors that make working in this field more difficult than it should be, but when I’m having a bit of a rough day I have this picture to remind me why I do what I do. It reminds me of the awesome day I had and my student, to keep on truckin’ and to go with the Even Flow.
Sorry Blitz, but I’m kind of a Rams fan now.