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Featured Athlete: Louise Benson

* Name: Louise Benson
* Age: 57

* Career: Special Education Teacher/ Team Facilitator Lawrence

* Hobbies: Baking, sewing, gardening, yoga

* When did I start OCR:

I started attending events with my husband last year.  I offered to watch people’s keys and bags during the events and became an un-official Spahten, lol.
I was attracted to this group because of the positive attitude and friendly people in the group.

* Training and Diet:

I do moderate yoga stretching, walking on the treadmill, and try really hard not to eat too many treats. I have never been what anyone would call an athlete.  I am a person with physical disabilities from Polio.

* Fun Facts:

* I was born A “perfect Baby Girl” on Sept. 6, 1955 with a head full of fiery red hair, a true “carrot top”.  I know this to be true because it is in my baby book.
*A week later Dr. Saulk perfected the Polio Vaccine.
6 weeks later I was admitted to the hospital with PoIio. I spent a year in Boston Children’s Hospital and 18 months in a full body cast. My left arm is paralyzed. I also have weaker leg muscles.
The doctors were going to fit me for braces because,  “ She will never be able to walk without them.” Luck was on my side. I had a reaction to the tape and plaster cast and my rash covered swollen legs could not be fitted. We went home without a cast and doctor’s orders “DO NOT let her get up on her feet! She will hurt her hip alignment and spine” Well, I climbed all over my crib, climbed the chairs, and never did get those braces. The doctors were very pleasantly surprised that I had more muscles than they thought.

* My Role Model:

Mom was a woman with tremendous will to overcome greater impairment than my own. She had Polio also. She raised 4 children from a wheelchair, with 3 paralyzed limbs. A better role model I could never ask for. She did everything to take care of her family.

I was raised in a “ No Excuses, you can do anything you really put your mind to atmosphere”. I have graduated from College, Master’s Degree in Special education and do as much as I can to help others who struggle with disabilities. The goal is not perfection it is progress.

* My Goal:

Exercise to improve my strength and balance to the best of my ability. The virtual Races are perfect for me. I can do the miles on my treadmill at home. They motivate me to be more consistent with my exercises. I believe that if you practice you will make progress.

New England Spahten and Virtual Event participant