Could I get advice/suggestions for this essay? Thanks!
In the 1968 Summer Olympics, John Stephen Akhwari represented Tanzania in the marathon. At the start of the race Akhwari fell, creating a severe cut on his knee and dislocating the joint. He continued running and finished last among 57 other runners. When asked why he did not stop, he replied, "My country did not send me 10,000 miles just to start the race; they sent me to finish the race."
One of the results of my hydrocephalus was an extremely tight muscle in my left leg, causing me to walk with a severe limp. Even after enduring casts, leg braces, Botox shots, and acupuncture, my orthopedic doctor told me that I would never be able to walk normally. As I grew older, I was dismayed to learn that my hydrocephalus and leg condition prevented me from participating in most sports. Nevertheless, I told myself that I would not be limited by what I could not do. A part of me did not want to settle for the outcome predicted by a doctor's diagnosis. I shared this passion with my parents and they agreed to sign me up for Tae Kwon Do. The challenges that I faced in Tae Kwon Do with my leg condition were immense. Because I could not kick properly, I constantly felt like I was behind the rest of the class. For five years I struggled, but my leg gradually grew stronger. I entered many sparring competitions, and finally earned my black belt degree. In my sophomore year of high school, I joined the cross country team with the same desire to change the person I was destined to become. Again, I started at the rear of the pack, and even was questioned by my coach whether I really wanted to run in Cross Country. Yet I never gave up and participated in every single race.
I never made it to the finals round in any of my sparring competitions, nor did I place first in any of my races. Yet my severe limp disappeared, and I came out of Tae Kwon Do and Cross Country having learned that I should not settle for simply starting the race. Achieving success is important. But what far outweighs success in my eyes is knowing that despite the odds that are against me, I can still finish the race knowing that I gave my all.