Just left Games of Acadiana and I couldn’t believe my eyes! Thousands of people packed into the Cajundome and Convention Center to play …. and play they did.
Lines formed early for our two newest events: bungee bouncer and hamster balls.
“It was like I was in space!” Paxton Perret exclaimed when I asked how it felt to fly 30 or 40 feet into the air and free fall (tethered to bungee cords and bouncing off a mini trampoline of course).
Add the hamster balls and rock wall and it was an adventurers dream. If you’re thinking to yourself --- what in the world is a hamster ball --- here’s my best description. It’s like a beach ball the size of a small car with an area inside to fit two people. You strap yourself in and someone gives you a big push! I had the unique experience of being hit by one while I was taking video. Those babies can m-o-v-e!
Then there were the old favorites! Who knew some people can hula hoop for a HOUR? How about throwing a football through a hole (take that Tom Brady!) or hitting a home run on the UL Baseball team with Coach Robichaux watching! So, it’s a wiffle ball and a bat the size of my head ---- it’s still Coach Ro!
All that fun ---- and the joy of celebrating life. During Opening Ceremonies, when I heard the ROCKY theme, you know, the one where he runs up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and saw the wall of cancer survivors take off for their lap around the inside of the Cajundome ---- it took my breathe away. Just imagine the darkened Dome floor, the music up full, the spotlight on them and crowds of supporters cheering them on --- I’m starting to tear up right now just thinking about it.
We’re so proud of them!
Familiar faces pass me by. Rebecca Trahan. A mother of two young boys who has lost 40 pounds working out in our Wellness Center. Barbara Mergist. Still having treatment and now going to Denver in between chemo to help her daughter's family. Her son-in-law has cancer too.
Then some I don’t know and I’m moved all the same. Bald heads wrapped in scarves, some taking tentative steps, but all these beautiful faces exuding strength and pride.
They’ve walked places I’ve never been.
I would not have wanted to be anywhere else at this morning!
We don’t know why we face the things we do or how we come to be in certain places, but if you were at Games of Acadiana today, you probably feel like I do. It was a perfect moment! Children laughed, parents played and the biggest worry anyone had was what to do next ---- Name that Tune? Ping Pong? Rock Band?
As I said to Debbie Perret, Miles’ Mom, this may be better than Christmas.
She said, “It is” with a sparkle in her eye and a smile on her face.