Will - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on September 29, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

I believe in persistence- the ability to get up after you fall down, to keep going even through injury. My name is Will Layden, and I am here to tell you a story about how persistence helped me overcome a previous problem, proving to me that it is something worthwhile to believe in.

As some of you may know, I run cross country and track and field for LT. My story takes place during my freshman year, in the early part of September. I was doing decently well in cross country, running some good times and placing well in races. However, during one race, the LT invite, I began to feel a sharp pain in my right hip. I thought nothing of it and continued to run. By the end of my race however, the pain had grown immensely, so much so that it hurt to move my leg.

I went to see the physical trainer for LT, and it turned out that I had something called iliotibial band syndrome. Your iliotibial or IT band is a connecting muscle in your leg that helps move you leg in lateral (side- to-side) motion. Some runners and swimmers genetically can have shorter and therefore tighter IT bands, and can aggravate them to the point of injury by not stretching or taking care of them, called iliotibial band syndrome or ITBS. I had ignored pain in my hip for a long time, and was close to permanently damaging it. At this point, my case was diagnosed as chronic ITBS, which meant I was told to stop running completely. This injury kept me out for the majority of the remaining season, setting me back to square one in my team standing. This is where is the persistence part comes in. I definitely considered quitting running altogether. However, I decided not to. Through constant heating, icing, stretching and painful strengthening, I was able to return and run the conference meet and actually get a personal record.

With continuous care, I was able to have a successful following track season and I am currently having a great cross country season, with my times being better than ever. In addition, I am now in the top ten sophomore runners. Without persistence, I might have given up running altogether. In addition, I feel that it can be applied to many other aspects of life. For these reasons, I believe in persistence.