Noah (in the blue and sweet Miami Vice Sportsglasses) spent his day sitting alone under the hot sun on a metal bleacher waiting for his turn to run.
He is a hurdler - which is perfect for him as he has jumped over more obstacles in his 13 years than I have in my 39.
I sat with him through the day and lamented how alone he was. No other kids came over and talked to him and at no point did he make an effort to do that himself. It was so hard to sit there and watch him be isolated on his lonely island.
But when his time came to race Noah's face lit up. For about ten minutes he joined our world. He sat on the starting line with the biggest smile on his face that continued throughout the entire 25 second race.
In those 25 seconds he was connecting to everyone around him. He was not different. He was not alone. He was a racer.
From the moment the starting gun flashed until he crossed the finish line he was off of his island - he was just one of the boys.
After the race was finished we went back up into the metal bleachers to wait for his next event. Although Noah returned to his own world I wasn't sad anymore. I was proud. Everyday he is finding ways to break out and spend some time with the rest of us.
Keeping running Noah. Keep running.