“My father, throughout my entire life, in everything I do, has always told me when adversity comes to “gut it out.” I would always look back at him and tell him “I will.” Most of the time I meant it. Growing up I never realized how important those three words would be in my life.
One day the words that my dad taught me to live by were put to the test. The day was June 28th 2008. I had made a grave error in judgment that resulted in a shattered elbow that would need extensive surgery to reconstruct and a broken C-7 vertebra in my neck. The doctors had told me that I was millimeters away from the bone shooting into my neck and severing my spinal chord. This would have resulted in my death. The doctors told me that if I did not follow their every instruction for the following five days I could find myself paralyzed from the neck down.
Now my father’s words, his motto that he instilled in me so many years earlier had never had so much importance. By the grace of God I was alive and walking, but the road to recovery would be long and arduous. Some doctors said I would never play water polo again, some said it would take a full year before I could even think about entering the water.
Now it’s almost a year later and I was able to make a full recovery in 6 months much to the surprise of all my doctors and teammates. I know that divine intervention had a lot to do with my safety, but the recovery was due to my hard work. If it wasn’t for my dad instilling the journeyman mentality into me I do not know if I would be where I am now. I am not sure that I would have been able to make a full recovery, and I do not believe I would be back competing for the best water polo team in the country.
“Gut it out.” It is by these words that I live my life. It is in this motto that I have the strength to face every adversity that comes my way. Through these words, I will be able to overcome every obstacle I face. Life is full of trials and tribulations but it how we handle and overcome these difficulties that decides our measure. Do you back down or go forward? I will never back down. I will always keep my head up and work through the problems in my life. This is what is at the core of me. I will take the road less traveled, the harder one, if necessary, in order to succeed and become successful. I will work hard, fight through the pain, and overcome any obstacle that stands in my way through determination and perseverance. This I believe.