Haslett Powerlifter Honored by the Governor
It sounds creepy when an almost 45 year-old says a middle schooler with special needs is his hero but it's a reality for me. I have a daughter with Down Syndrome. I look to other kids with Down Syndrome for a glimpse at my daughter's future.
I get major hope when I see the accomplishments of Haslett 8th grader Jackson Rahrig. This kid has already done more in his life than most. He is part of Michigan APF -Amateur Powerlifting Federation where he holds state records. He went to England with the World Powerlifting Congress and took first place in his age and weight class. He is the only person with special needs at these events (obvious needs anyway) and is welcomed in a wonderful way! I don't know what you know about kids with Down Syndrome but they are supposed to have low muscle tone. Clearly Jackson didn't get that message.
And he visited the Harry Potter museum while they were there. (I want to go to there)
Last night, he received a Governor's Honor at the MGM Grand in Detroit and challenged the Governor to an arm wrestling match. He also got to meet Martha Reeves from Martha and the Vandellas.
Jackson's parents are some amazing people. Jeff and Jamie Rahrig. I spoke once with Jeff about what the heck they did to push this kid to break so many stereotypes. He said "Set the bar high. People are going to get you to try and lower it. Keep it high."
I will never forget that conversation. For me, it was like talking to Barry Sanders dad. Then, right after saying that, he went to challenge another child with Down Syndrome who needed a motivational push. That is when I saw, in our Down Syndrome community it really takes a village. We fight and fight as parents and sometimes we give up for a few seconds. Another parent always seems to swoop in and let you catch your breath. It's one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
His mom Jamie also told me a story about another grown man who has been inspired by Jackson.
I had a friend tell me he started exercising again after seeing Jackson compete thinking if he can do it, I can do it.
Way to be a LEADER, Jackson.