Kyle - Worley, Idaho
Entered on March 10, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in perseverance. I think that even though life can be tough, if you are determined enough, you can overcome any obstacle. A lot of things have happened to me in my life that a weaker person would not have been able to recover from. The only reason I am not physically handicapped, an alcoholic drug addict or a bum is because I have always been highly self-confident and determined to be the best that I can be. No matter what life throws at me I always bounce back, usually stronger than before.

I was fifteen years old when I had an accident with a 30.06 hunting rifle. It happened one night when I was cruising around with my brother scouting the fields for deer. We came across a whole field full of them, so my brother asked me to hand him the gun. He looked through the scope scanning the field one animal at a time.

“Doe, Doe, Doe, Buck! – Doe, Doe.”

He handed the gun back to me. I grabbed the gun back and started to replace it on the floor. Boom! The sound exploded in the cab of the truck.

“Oh shit bro! I shot a hole in your truck!” I said. Then about twenty-five or thirty seconds later my foot turned ice-cold.

“Actually, I think we better go to the hospital, I think I shot my foot.” I said.

At that time I was only a freshman in high school. That is a time when people are going through a lot of transitions, from middle school to high school, kid to adult, etc. etc. Most kids are insecure in and of themselves. I now had a missing toe. Kids tried to bring me down and tell me I would never be the same again, and an accident like that brought personal doubts.

I was determined, however, to force my body back into the physical shape it was in prior to the accident. All around me were people who wanted me to stay down, because I was smart, athletic and had to beat some of them up. I didn’t care what they thought or wanted; I pushed myself through the pain. I started walking two weeks before I was supposed to quit using my crutches. Two months later the limp was gone, I was once again, an avid runner, playing sports and didn’t walk any differently than I did before. My doctor was amazed, my family just thought it was normal, because that’s what we do; persevere.

Right after my accident with the 30.06, my big brother had an opportunity to persevere. He is a logger by trade, a job that requires people to put themselves in harms way every single day. Besides tree’s falling within feet of you, metal lines snapping and swinging at you fast enough to slice not only your head, but every other part of your body clean off; part of the job entails climbing trees to either limb or saw from top to bottom. Climbing is one of the most dangerous parts of the job, (the reason I think my brother loves to do it). One day he was up topping off a tree that was rotten at the top, when he put his safety rope around the rotten part of the tree, (not knowing that it was rotten), it snapped. He fell thirty feet to the ground, where he landed on another tree someone in his crew had fallen earlier in the day.

Upon landing he shattered his hip. Witnesses saw him immediately stand up exclaiming, “Ah! Pain, what a rush”! Then he collapsed from the pain. He was flown to Harbor View Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. After a week in traction, he underwent a successful twelve-hour surgery.

The doctors told him not to put any weight on his hip for three months. He started walking a mere two and a half months later. Within four months, he was getting around so good that it was tough to tell he fell so recently. Then after only five and a half months he started working as a logger once again. About eight months later he got the nerve to start climbing again, and since that day he doesn’t hesitate to climb trees whenever he gets a chance. Another great example of how my family perseveres through anything.

My most recent walk with perseverance occurred on October 16, 2008 when I was being a very naughty boy, drinking hard liquor and doing drugs such as, pain-pills and marijuana. Some time in the midst of these activities, I decided to take my moms car for a joy-ride. I didn’t have permission, but at this point I really didn’t care; I was going for a cruise. I cruised around with my girlfriend and one of our friends for an hour, drinking beer and socializing. It was getting late so, I decided to drop them off and return the car. I dropped them off, but did not return the car.

My girlfriend said she watched me drive down the road and speed past my mom’s house. I don’t remember what happened next; the story goes like this. I somehow drove the car to a local back-road, even as drunk as I was. I was traveling down the road doing somewhere around 120 mph. I came upon a corner that I did not even see. I flew off the road striking and snapping a telephone pole about twenty feet off of the ground. The car then rolled eight times before coming to a stop. I was ejected on the sixth roll. When emergency personnel arrived they couldn’t believe there were any survivors. I had crawled back to the car and pulled myself in through the window. An amazing feature of perseverance in itself, considering my back was broken in three places and my neck was fractured. I went to surgery and had a spinal fusion. The doctors expected me to be out of commission for months.

As it went I was not able to walk by myself for about one month. After that I started getting around a little bit better each day. To me it seemed like the healing process was taking ages. When I went to see the doctor he had a different opinion. He and his nurses were extremely surprised by how quick I was recovering. I worked hard for two and a half month’s doing physical therapy and home exercise; within three months I was eighty percent recovered. I currently don’t know how far my recovery has come; I go again to see the doctor in April. The only thing I do know is that I feel one-hundred percent recovered and that through it all I have persevered.

Perseverance runs in my family. My dad’s immediate family persevered through extreme racism, poverty and instability. I have persevered through pain, alcoholism and addiction. It is not in my blood to give up. We have risen up from poverty to middle class. My generation is working on rising from middle-class to upper-class. We always strive to be better than we are now. Through the trials and tribulations we don’t give up; that is why I believe in perseverance.