Throughout these 30-day expeditions, students focus on increasing self-knowledge, clarifying values, strengthening decision-making skills and processes, and setting goals – all life skills to help chart a path toward independence with confidence and passion.After first learning basic whitewater strokes in calm currents, students begin the expedition.There are days when I grow angry and frustrated because nothing seems to help my son. Someone who should be fired, as one local columnist wrote, because Golden Gopher fans don't pay money to be "rewarded with the sight of a middle-aged man writhing on the ground." He's heard it all. Sometimes, he'll look up like a boxer down for the count and mutter, "I hate seizures" or "Seizures suck." Other times, he cries. When he seizes up, a part of my soul goes with him.I want to ask the coach how he handles his seizures, what advice he has for families like mine. He's found motivation, not in his own battle, but from children with epilepsy who flock to him. "When you make fun of me," he says, "you're mocking my people! Later in the evening, as the coach winds down in Chicago, my 10-year-old son, Billy, steps onto our front porch in Atlanta to take our dog for a walk. After about a minute, Billy takes a deep, long breath. This time, he's too out of it to say or do anything. More than 500 times, my soul has been chipped away.
For sheer, cussed rough 'n' tumble, there's not a landscape wilder than the real thing. There is no such thing as perfect justice, they say.We live in a flawed and hollow place, they say, where sometimes the innocent wither and the guilty thrive, where cheaters prosper and horses die. Mattie, a loquacious tornado in the guise of a 14-year-old girl, knows ours is far from a perfect world. She drives a hard bargain with a local businessman as she's settling some of her father's financial affairs, including refunding the 0 he spent on four ponies. Complete 12 hours of community service as you interact with local people, expanding cultural awareness while practicing the Outward Bound ethic of service.Acquire an extensive range of practical outdoor and life skills, and even more importantly, enjoy the confidence, independence and pride that come from mastering those skills.
What's it like to step onto a field knowing you have epilepsy? Will you return to the sidelines or coach from the press box?