"Have you ever felt as if you could not go any further; you’ve done all you can do; there’s no hope? This way of thinking is riddled with disappointment and self ridicule. If you have never felt this sense of losing the race, then I would be tempted to say you don’t know the pleasure and excitement of accomplishment and triumph. It all depends on your circumstances but it is crucial to acknowledge that some are worse than others. But that also implies that the deeper the situation is, the stronger you are to beat it.
This inspiring story even continues as we speak but starts with the realization that my dad would have two sons with the same uniqueness as him and his family. In-fact, it would be so unique that we are the very first ones in documentation or even history with the disability. I am my dad’s first son. Now, this is a disability that affects our balance and coordination, so much that some would say there was a lack of these qualities. Actually, most people did say, teach, and even encourage that future improvement would be impossible for us.
I assume that it has been the same for us all who have been cursed with such an inconvenience. I prefer to tell of my own experience though.
When I was a young child I was not able to walk or even stand on my own as most one or two year olds are able to do. This is when therapists and doctors told me and my parents that my advancement and future accomplishments would be just a dream. Being told as a kid that you could not be like other kids or had any hope of being able to do fun things like jump around is very disheartening. Then after being told that enough, it started to get to me.
There was a problem with their beliefs though, and that was my dad. They refused to realize that he has the same disability himself and he eventually learned to walk and run and jump. As a son and a little kid my dad is and was my hero and my inspiration to do anything. I knew he was just like me and I knew he beat it, so I wanted to be like him.
My father also knew of the biggest responsibility set on him a father could ever have; to be a light and the right role model for his children. He had to teach me how to walk and be independent just as his father did for him. It would be a long and tedious task but a rewarding one too. My dad knew of my potential but he had to motivate that potential.
When I was real little dad would have me practice standing while holding onto something or holding on to him. He would teach me to get back up when I lost what little balance I had and fell. He would teach me to keep my head up.
When we were ready my dad would take us to the gym in our church every sunday and teach us how to walk. There were different colored tiles that went around the gym that were large enough to walk in. At this time I was using a walker for children, so that is what I used to keep upright and try to walk in a straight line. Then after a few years I was able to use crutches for the first time. This was a big step for me which offered more of a challenge but still taught me that I in-fact could do it. Eventually time passed and I moved on from crutches and it was time to walk on my own. Walking those blue tiles had turned into my hope. I had come so far and if I could walk those blue tiles in a straight line without falling then I knew I could do it. It took a long time and a lot of effort from both of us for me to learn to walk on my own.
I remember falling and stumbling and tripping over and over again. I would cry and just give up so often in frustration. One thing though that my dad did that I will always remember is him saying every time “don’t be discouraged”. He told it to me in the most sincere and kind voice he could. Actually, it makes me chuckle when I think about it, but he said it so often that it became annoying. Without fail though, he would lift my spirits and tell me he loved me and I managed to get back up and try again. I remember too, he always made me realize how far I have come and how far I still could go. It was an exhausting amount of work but I came through and I was able to take my first steps without any help or things to hold on to when I was about seven years old.
It was quite a while before I could walk independently. I think it was sixth grade when I could walk well enough to not have to use any help. From then to now in college I have only improved. I am now an athlete who practices weightlifting, I live independently, and I am successful.
You can only imagine how hard it was to be a kid that was “different”. I have felt like I was constantly being torn down by schoolmates and other family. I have been called a cripple when that is the very thing I have proven I’m not. A lot of times I missed out on activities that I would have enjoyed because I physically couldn't do it or just because no one wanted me. Through all this though and more, it just builds me up because I know in a lot of ways I’m stronger, I’ve been through more, and I probably have a better character than them. I would never have been the person I am though if it wasn’t for my father. I have come so far in my confidence and who I am to conclude that this may be an inconvenience but it is not a curse, it is indeed a gift from the Lord to show me his power and his blessings.
Dad taught me how to never give up. No matter what happens, just remember God will give you the strength to overcome anything. If I can beat a disability, then you certainly can get back up yourself and try again."