Cayden and Conner Long


Kids’ triathlon strengthens brothers’ bond

Written by Jessica Bliss | The Tennessean 9:15 AM, Jun. 13, 2011

For a kid like Cayden, with cerebral palsy, a lot of activities are unthinkable. But for a kid like Conner, the only thing that’s unthinkable is leaving his brother behind.

Applause swells through the aquatic center as Conner Green swims. Splashing with determination, he reaches mid-lap in his very first triathlon as the crowd of spectators urges him forward.

The 7-year-old stares ahead, peering through the lenses of his blue-rimmed goggles, and kicks hard. One hand grabs at the water in front of him. The other hand tugs the raft behind him, where his 5-year-old brother, Cayden Long, enjoys the ride.

Cayden has cerebral palsy. He can’t walk. He can’t speak. But with his brother’s help, he can swim, bike and run.

At the June 5 Nashville Kids Triathlon, the duo did all three. With Conner pushing and pulling Cayden through the course, the boys did something together they have never been able to do before. The physical demands on Conner were intense, but the physical limitations of his brother propelled him.

“There’s a saying,” Conner says. “ ‘Never say never.’ ”




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