Down, Set, Hike!

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Ninety-five degree weather in the middle of the afternoon and my brother Zachary is outside once again playing football. There is no breeze at all in the exhausting heat and the sweat is simply rolling off his face. He’s all decked out in the latest football jersey, helmet, and pads and he is more than prepared. Any passer-by would think nothing of the thirteen year old boy out in the hottest part of the day but if they were to look closer they would find he seems to be missing something; a hand. As mandatory as a hand seems for the game of football, he is as talented at the game as anyone his age. He has taken what he was blessed with and has made it work to his advantage.

Don’t tell me what you can’t do, tell me what you can do.

If you say you can’t, you will always be right.

These are sayings that I have heard often. That’s what happens when your father is a teacher. Zachary has become a living example of these sayings. He should not be able to play sports adequately, but he does. In fact, he lives and breathes sports like no one else I know. He has learned to not take no for an answer. He has proven that, no matter the cost, it is worth it. If there is a concept that I have learned from the many years of living in the same house as Zachary, it is to never give up. Never give up on a dream no matter how small or how impossible it may appear. Even if it seems you do not have what it takes, use what you do have to achieve the dream. Anything worth achieving is usually not easy but with enough perseverance it can be done.

As a person born with two hands, I have taken many things for granted. Tying my shoes and typing on the keyboard take minimal effort for me. For someone with only one hand though, these simple everyday tasks pose themselves as more of a challenge. Zachary overcomes every challenge that he faces. The only difference is the way he goes about it. Anytime he is told he cannot fulfill a task, it pushes him just that much harder to complete it whatever the task may be. He never gives up no matter how small the task seems, if only to complete it just so he can say he did.

I have wanted to be a veterinarian for as long as I can remember. The older I grew though, the more implausible the dream became. It would be so much school and even with scholarships there would be thousands of dollars in student loans. As many times as I have tried to change my mind to another profession, I always came back to veterinary science. One day I was told by my father, “It would be a waste to go into an alternate field only for the reason that it was easier and it cost less.”

Watching Zachary put his everything into every task set before him and complete it no matter the cost has made me realize that my dream may not be as far out of reach as I anticipated. The loans will still be there and the schooling will still take time, but to have the ability to say I finished it and followed my dream as far as I possibly could will be worth it in the end.





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cejury said...
Feb. 16, 2012 at 10:50 am
Erin, This is such a great article! Very inspiring! You are all amazing. Love ya, Aunt Cathy
 
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