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September 06, 2013 | North America: Oklahoma

Keith-Our Fearless Swimmer

By Amy Shackelford

Keith is one of our fearless athletes. When he started swimming with our Pathways Panthers Special Olympics team he did not know how to swim. After only 5 months of training, Keith was able to swim 25 yards in a life vest with the guidance of a coach. What an accomplishment. What makes this so exceptional is that Keith is visually impaired. He has to forge ahead without being able to see where he is going. I love to swim and thinking of Keith I closed my eyes and tried to make it across the pool without being able to see. I didn't make it 10 feet without crashing into the lane rope and wanting to quit. I am proud to say that Keith now swims independently in his life vest 25 yards. He does it with a smile on his face and determination in his heart. Watching Keith swim has taught me the importance of never giving up. He has shown me what true courage is.

About Amy Shackelford: My name is Amy Shackelford and I am the Director of Pathways. Pathways is a Christian program for adults with intellectual disabilities in Tulsa, OK. We focus on work, independence, and Christian growth. I have the privilege of working with 34 exceptional individuals who have taught me more about life and love than I could ever imagine. We have a Pathways Panthers Special Olympics teams that compete in track and field, soccer, and aquatics.

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