Green Bay cross country runner Erik Johnson, a senior from Pulaski, Wis. is at the center of a lengthy Huntington Post feature, “Autism Without Fear — Green Bay Edition: Erik Johnson, Time…and a Simpler Answer.” Here’s a few nuggets and a reason to read more.
“…And when you live life on the spectrum, certainty, in a confusing world, becomes a treasured commodity. Erik can rely on the simplicity of a running time. His running time does not have complicated nuances to learn, nor does it contain intimidating context. A running time is what it is. He either beats it, or he doesn’t, and Erik takes great comfort from that. My guilt in uncomfortably pressing him goes away as, in having engaged him so, I have learned something (about how track could possibly be attractive to a spectrum person), and moreover, Erik is clearly happy to have conveyed something so important.”
“If you want to understand who Erik Johnson is, look past the obvious and see the hyper-focus, the mental toughness, and the hard work. He’s a lot of things, but first and foremost, and in the truest sense of the word… He’s an athlete.”