Today’s LiveUpDate comes from Jamie Weiss, one of the NYC Program directors!
Over Labor Day weekend, the LiveUp season concluded its seventh year with programs in New York City and Washington, DC. Between the two programs, LiveUp welcomed 37 adults with Down syndrome and 45 volunteers. The entire weekend was a high note full of endless dance parties, so many hugs, new friendships and city adventures.
In New York City we hopped on a boat tour along the Hudson River, participated in an improv workshop, took in beautiful NYC views at the Top of the Rock, visited the American Museum of Natural History and the fun did not stop there. In Washington, DC we went to the Renaissance Fair, practiced yoga, took a painting class, visited the National Air and Space Museum and so much more.
I have been lucky enough to be a Director of LiveUp for the past five years. LiveUp is hands-down one of my favorite weekends of the year. It is even more special that I get to share the weekend directing with my sister and alongside so many close friends. I love welcoming new people each year and showing them what this incredible program is all about. I love reconnecting with old friends and picking up right where we left off. And, I love being a part of a community where we enable one another to thrive and encourage one another to be the best version of ourselves.
Every year, LiveUp teaches me new things. As a group we learn together, explore the unfamiliar and challenge one another. As individuals we grow into better human beings, take steps outside of our comfort zones and open our minds to new possibilities. This year, I learned a lot from our New York City experience. I learned that Jingle Bell Rock may actually be the best karaoke song of all time. I learned that any phrase can be made into a cheer and any phrase followed by a cheer (woo!) creates a fantastic energy. I was reminded that everything works itself out, even when it rains all day and all of your scheduled activities were supposed to be outdoors. I learned the purpose of the “bagel” setting on a toaster (to only toast the inside of the bagel). I was reminded of the importance of stepping outside of your comfort zone through the many new things we all tried throughout the weekend. I was reminded that delight can be found in so many places. I learned that you should always wear gloves when tie-dying.I learned many new yoga poses, kick-boxing moves and zumba dances. And I was reminded that so many magical moments are created when a group of awesome, thoughtful, dynamic and inspiring individuals come together.
Cheers to what was an incredible LiveUp year and to many, many more! May we all continue to hug often, step outside of our comfort zones, learn new things and surround ourselves with people who lift us up.