This I Believe: Endurance

Chaise Williams - Macon, North Carolina
Entered on July 22, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I Believe Essay: Endurance

Growing up, I could not play outdoors for hours on end with my family and neighborhood friends. Not because I was not allowed to, but because physically I could not. I was born with Sickle Cell Anemia, a disorder that kept me from joining the recreational teams and having a social life that involved physical activity. Though its severity of pain differed from time to time, it was something that I felt always held me back from being me to my fullest potential.

As a child I remember looking out of my window only to see the smiles on my cousin’s and friend’s faces; Smiles that I envied. While I could enjoy myself with them for a short amount of time it was never enough to satisfy me. Though it was rough, I had to learn how to work through my disorder. Without the help of my family, I would not have the endurance that exists in me today; the endurance to push through the episodes of pain that have become a central part of my life. I can remember crawling around my house in pain and looking at my parent’s faces as they watched in pain as well. Though they loved me it was needed to teach me how to help myself. I needed to learn to cope because I would not always have someone to rely on.

Now at 20 years old, I am glad that I have gained the endurance to be able to live and tackle the everyday challenge of just walking to class and carrying on everyday activities. The disability that exists in so many families has allowed me to achieve so much more than it has taken from me. It has strengthened my determination, perseverance, and fortitude and this I believe has given me a greater appreciation for life. I challenge everyone with a disability or disorder who frequently live, and are haunted by nonsensical notions of failure or disbelief to stand tall and embrace life with an “I can, and I will” attitude. While it may not be easy at all times, stay optimistic and always put your best foot forward.