You can do it.
You got this.
Yes you can!
Those are just some of the encouraging words the half-dozen runners on Pine Tree Society’s Community Support Program team heard from the sidelines at the Santa Shuffle 5K Run/Walk for the Children in Bridgton.
“This was our second 5K of the season,” said Pine Tree Society direct support professional Deb Cote. “We were all at different paces and had a lot of fun supporting each other. After the race we went out for pizza wearing our finisher medals and t-shirts and everyone congratulated our success. It was such a good feeling. It was just delightful.”
Deb is a certified Special Olympics trainer and the head of Pine Tree Society’s Special Olympics delegation in Androscoggin County.
“A lot of our clients take part in Special Olympics,” she continued. “There are so many different sports now. From bowling to tennis to swimming to skiing, there’s something for everyone. We get outside as much as we can. It’s important to stay active in the colder months so you don’t lose your conditioning.”
For Deb, staying active is as much about being together out in the community as it is about staying in shape. Taking part in events like 5Ks and Special Olympics gives people the chance to explore, try new things, learn about each other and make friends that last a lifetime.
Next up, Pine Tree Society’s community support participants are planning a trip to Old Orchard Beach on New Year’s Day for the annual Lobster Dip to raise money for Special Olympics. And, after the winter Special Olympics conclude, this spring they’ll take part in the Bath Savings Paddle for Pine Tree Camp.
“It’s become an annual tradition for us. The Paddle is a particularly good event for people in our group who don’t have a lot of stamina because they can try paddling in a tandem kayak,” Deb said. “It’s the perfect fit for someone to experience something new outdoors for the first time. Once they try it, they love it and want to paddle more.”