How Adapting With Alex Began: Part 2
by Alex Garrett
Somewhere out there the saying exists that “90% of life is showing up.” Spending nearly 100% of my time rolling up daily, there is this constant reminder that yes rolling up or showing up MATTERS, it moves YOUR life’s ball forward.
In 2000, as our family’s adaptation to rollerblading continued, so too did the blessings come of numerous opportunities. As I was starting to roll my wheels, my family and I would have the opportunity to roll to Variety the Children’s Charity’s special telethons AND radio-thons as a junior spokesperson for the organization. These wheels, after Cousin Bruce Morrow took me under his wing, went to support Variety at Trump Tower, at different golf outings and the wish well dinners that got the movie theater chains involved in helping kids in the tri-state area! Brucie encouraged us to go wherever Variety was, including in Queens. From age 8–18, Variety had asked us to join their Christmas party. Without fail, every December included a trip to Variety Boys and Girls club in Queens. I loved rolling on that stage to address the kids who may not have seen someone differently-abled, and I even loved their questions afterwards!
When I thought about this chapter, I was thinking of where exactly have these wheels been put to positive, foundation-building use. One place that I honestly love rolling to every December is HVS. While going to school there was exciting, getting to do the wheelchair basketball sportsmanship tournament every year as an announcer is always special. Especially when you get to see the K-12 kids‘ smiles after they make baskets to win and then wheel up the court with that smile as they get set to play defense. As a student, I couldn’t ride a roller-blade or public transportation to school due to safety risks, but to do it in adulthood for a cause even bigger than a grade is always special!
Competing in the Games for the Physically Challenge was great and fun and yes character-building until age 21. Being aged out competitively hasn’t stopped my passion to be around these athletes and around the Games family. To be able to roll to Mitchel Field each and every June as a volunteer is just as enriching. It’s a weekend where adapting looks EFFORTLESS a chance for kids to be kids, feeling loved and accepted in their own skin!
For me it’s one thing to say how fun it is rollerblading, but it’s even more exciting to share that these wheels haven’t been just for fun. They are my lifeline and help me help those around us give back! I’m very honored and feel blessed that those around us have been there whether at HVS, The Games, Variety and the other organizations giving back to the community!