The Fighter

Victor - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on December 3, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Breathing heavily, I squint at the contender across from me. I put my lone hand up in a feeble defense against the forthcoming onslaught of blows, and struggle against the restraints on my other clenched fist. My opponent punches, one to the gut, two to either cheek. It feels as if Atlas has shifted the weight upon his back and the world topples for a moment. Next thing I know, my face is parallel to the floor and a sharp ring sounds in my ear. I hear the ref pounding “One….Two….Three….” I know I have to get up.

Some people are physically less fortunate than others. I, and others like me, have an immediate disadvantage thrust upon us as we fight through the boxing match of life with one hand tied behind our backs. Does that mean we are completely defenseless? I believe in using what we have to our greatest advantage.

As some make jibes about others having acne or being a bit too skinny or a bit too chubby, people make lighthearted jokes about my being in a wheelchair. “Hey Victor, gonna get those spinners soon?” “Hey, have you ever run anyone over?” I take these jests in stride, as it were, but sometimes I feel my friendly personality almost gives them permission make these comments. I am not one to spoil the fun, and can make a few good jokes myself, but after a long day who would want to answer for the four-hundred-twenty-seventh time, “How fast can that thing go?” I am not saying that I want to dampen these people’s curiosity, but enough is enough.

Since the day I was born, my father has imbued me with a sense of who I am and what my future can be. He has stressed that “People will always be faster and stronger than you, but they will never be smarter than you. What they can do with their legs, you can to do with your mind.” I have kept this in my heart through every trial in my life, and intend to carry it throughout my time on this earth.

I feel a burst of energy, and push myself up from the ground with one hand. I wipe a smear of blood from my lip and present my lone fist. My haughty opponent laughs in my face and begins his attack anew. Inspiration strikes me and I utter a small chuckle as I duck under his overconfident jabs and come up with a crushing uppercut to the jaw. My opponent’s eyes bulge out as he accepts the full power of every muscle in my body through his jawbone. He teeters for a moment, and then falls to the mat with a resounding thud. The ref begins and ends his count without the slightest indication of life from the challenger, save the slow rise and fall of his chest. I finally untie my fist and hold my hands high in the air. I am the victor.