You can do anyting

Shannan - Springdale, Arkansas
Entered on October 24, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

You can do anything

I believe that no matter what disability you may have, you can do anything if you put your mind to it and never give up.

When I was little my asthma controlled me. It was almost like I was the prisoner and my asthma was the jail cell holding me back from the rest of the world.

I remember the doctors telling my parents that I wouldn’t be athletic or even be able to go to school. I was always in the hospital because I would be having horrible asthma attacks. When advair, a new type of asthma inhaler came out I begged my parents to let me try it out. The more I took it the more and more my asthma got under control. My last asthma attack was in kindergarten.

In fifth grade I began to take a liking in gymnastics. I asked and asked to my parents to let me join. When I started I had so much fun. I went back every week and I got better and better.

A few months later I got a letter from the team coaches. They wanted me to be on their level 4 competitive team. My mom, dad, and I went to my doctor to talk about it and see what they thought we should do. They said that gymnastics was not the sport for me. They told my parents to take me out immediately. When we got home I talked my parents into letting me try it out and see if I would be okay. So I continued.

That year at my state competition I placed 1st on the floor exercise, and 2nd in the all-around score. The next year when I moved up to the level 5 it was much harder. I was weaker than everyone else but that pushed me to work harder. I would be using my inhaler so many times during practice. Finally, I began to get stronger and stronger and I was using my inhaler less and less.

This year at state I placed 1st on the vault exercise, 2nd on the uneven parallel bars, and 1st in the all-around score.

This experience made me believe that even though I have asthma I can do anything if I just put my mind to it and never give up.