Spread My Wings MAG

February 20, 2013
By Donnell Davis BRONZE, Bowie, Maryland
Donnell Davis BRONZE, Bowie, Maryland
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I was recently asked what inspires me most. That was easy to answer: I live and breathe track and field. It is the only sport that has ­allowed me to spread my wings and truly fly. I have struggled a lot in my life after being diagnosed with a learning disability at the age of three. I was also born four months prematurely, weighing less than four pounds. Even at 17, I’m still working to catch up. Mentally I’m on the level of a 12-year-old. I had to repeat the third and fifth grade, which caused me a lot of stress and embarrassment.

People say that kids can be cruel, but adults have no idea. I was teased so much that I would often hide in the bathroom instead of going to class. My parents always gave me ­lots of love and support, but I still felt worthless most of the time. I’m also quite shy, so making and keeping friends has always been a challenge.

Then one day when I was 12, my life changed forever. My parents decided my younger brother and I should try track. From that moment on my life was different. I was a natural mid-distance runner. When I was on the track, the other kids just saw me and my speed. No one saw my learning disability. For the first time in my life I felt normal.

When I entered high school, I joined the track team and the coach quickly saw my talent. I was selected to run on the A team for cross-county and the A team for indoor and outdoor track. I’m on the varsity team for the 4 x 400-meter and ­
4 x 800-meter relays, and colleges are even interested in me!

My cross-county team won the 2011 County and Regional Championship, and I was selected as the MVP. When I accepted my award, my mom cried because she was so proud of me, and for once, I was proud of myself.

Even though I’m a special-education student, I now know that my learning disability does not define me. I’m an honor student and a MVP track runner, and when I look in the mirror I like what I see. I can hold my head up high because track has allowed me to spread my wings and truly fly!

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