There is so much more to this picture. I want to share a story of
Michael Simms, pictured here with seven year old son Jordan at the finish line of XRACE Canberra.
On a perfect evening at Canberra's Kings Park, I first met the Simms family team at their second challenge of the evening - the crazy caterpillar, a completely crazy challenge that requires three adults and three children to climb a skinny tarpaulin that looks like a skeletal bulldozer track. It's a mad, fun challenge that as often as not resembles a rugby rolling maul.
Michael and Jordan stood out. They were the only team inside the caterpillar, not three teams - just one.
I ventured over to the team and said to dad "we need to get another two teams into this caterpillar."
Dad looked at me apologetically and said "please, my son is autistic. I'm just happy I got him in this thing. I swear I thought he wouldn't do it."
And at that precise moment I quickly dined on a piece of humble pie as I saw of Michael's ongoing struggle.
Walk a mile in their shoes.
"Mate, the runway is all yours - all clear ahead. Here, I'll give you a hand and stop the track from twisting on you" was all I could say and do.
This courageous father and son team continued on with the focus and commitment of Olympic athletes. They make the challenge finish line and dad disembark's this crazy ride. son Jordan goes:
Dad clearly didn't see that coming and we instantly did exactly what needed to be done, turn the ship around and took off for a second lap.
Dad, bless dad. This man has the patience of a saint and the inner strength of Superman - this father son team heads off on a second lap.
Realising he could be here all night dad gently coerces Jordan out of the caterpillar "mate, we've got more to go, let's find out what's next."
Finally, Jordan surrenders the caterpillar to a waiting Marshall and our dynamic duos head off into the course in all the way to the finish line (pictured).
This photo says everything, capturing the proudest dad on the planet - Michael Simms, holding back tears and saying to a photographer and myself "mate, he did it. He did it. He really did it." I can tell you he wasn't the only person holding back tears.
Here's to super dad Michael and his superhero sidekick, Jordan.
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