Never Give Up: A Lesson Learned From Silken Laumann

I was looking for something this morning and I found a portfolio that I made for my grade nine Skills for Success class.  The teacher had asked us to put in the portfolio written work from each of your classes. I found this essay I wrote for my grade nine English class and I had to share as she still inspires me to not give up.

A hero is a man or woman admired for achievements and noble qualities. The following essay is about Silken Laumann.  This essay will discuss how Silken's been recognized as a sports hero, how she was able to change society by her special characteristics, and how she fits the the definition of a hero.

She's been recognized as a hero because of how she recovered after she suffered from a sprained ankle and torn ligament before the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. She recovered amazingly from the injury.  She participated in the Olympics with a brace on her leg.  Also, she received a bronze medal.  She has also won many other trophies. Anyone who has fulfilled their dreams and won in the Olympics and survived a tragic accident, is a true hero.

(c) Arianna's Random Thoughts
(c) Arianna's Random Thoughts

Her actions have changed society. She's an inspiration to other rowers and athletes to work hard and not give up so they can enter the Olympics and maybe win a gold, silver, or bronze medal.  She also inspires the world with her determination and devotion to her sport. A lot of people think she's an inspiration because of her amazing recovery and for the courageous woman she is. People told her she could never row again. But she proved them all wrong!

She fits the definition of a hero because she wrecked her leg closely before she had an Olympic race and she proved you can do anything if you try. She's also a real hero because of her amazing self-confidence and mental strength. Also, with the damage to her leg she could have easily lost the race and she knew it, but it didn't stop her from entering the race and trying.  She couldn't practice for about one month because of the damaged leg and ligament. Her teammates also knew they probably wouldn't win because she was not ready. She wanted to, so they supported her. That fits the definition of a hero.

In conclusion, Silken Laumann is a truly a hero by her outstanding qualities. Even though she lost the use of her leg [in a sport that is highly dependent on your legs], she had the courage to fulfill her dream and prove she could do it.

I wrote this long before I had any experience with rowing and at that point was impressed with her mental strength to persist despite the odds. I have seen many individuals (athletes and non-athletes) that let an obstacle prevent them from achieving their dream. Now, I am duly impressed as I have competitive rowing experience and know how challenging ( mentally and physically) training and racing is for a healthy athlete. The sport requires extensive use of your legs. For her to persist despite having all the damage to her leg is admirable.She is still a role model to many athletes (rowers or not) to not give up. I wish more would follow her example.

Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.

See you at the beach!