War Against Adversity - Persistence

By Athulith Nemakal

Persistence's Definition

Persistence is a personality trait that is applied in a time of difficulty and peril. What does persistence mean to you? Locked out of your house after school and your mother has to open the door? No, that is a very slight interpretation of persistence. The true definition of persistence is applying full force to try to solve an extremely difficult problem that is very hard to fix. Persistence is a firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. A lot of people have persisted and achieved their goal in flying colors.
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Overcoming a Difficulty

What do you do when overcoming an adversity? Do you avoid it and brush it off? Those instances will only lead you into further trouble. But if you actually attack the difficulty and fix it the best you can, the adversity will haunt you no longer, and you can move on with your original objective. For example, a former soccer player, Kayla, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when she felt tingling sensations in her legs while playing soccer games. Instead of wasting her time away with this devastating news, she began running as a sport to have a purpose in her life. She persisted and participated in running competitions and won almost everywhere she went even if she couldn’t feel her legs when she was running, and if she was numb all over and was breathless after every race.

(Catching Kayla: YouTube) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpA-FsKLA6A)

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Living Beyond Limits

Dealing with difficulty requires solutions. For example, when you and your best friend get into a squabble, you're going to have to fix it and make up. A great example of this is a young lady named Amy Purdy, who lost her legs and snowboarding skills to Bacterial Meningitis. After a devastating amputation, Amy Purdy had to get torturous prosthetic legs. To make matters worse, the legs were not suitable for snowboarding. Amy Purdy, fed up, met up with her leg-maker to innovate a pair of legs that would work for snowboarding, and she succeeded. Her persistence allowed her to pursue her passion and career further and won her many awards. She also appeared on Dancing with the Stars.

(Living Beyond Limits: TED Talk) (https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_purdy_living_beyond_limits?language=en)

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Burning Persistence

Although a lot of people have experienced traumatic events in their lives, they persisted through them and moved on with their true objective. One of these people is Glenn Cunningham. Glenn, only seven years old, was badly burned in a schoolhouse fire along with his brother, Floyd. Floyd passed away in the hospital, and Glenn was expected to not even walk. Glenn overcame this adversity by running and winning races in high school, though he couldn't run smoothly and his legs regularly needed massaging and warm-ups throughout his career. He was the fastest miler in the Amateur Athletic Union in 1933, 1935, 1936, 1937, and 1938. He taught physical education, served in the Navy for two years, and established the Glenn Cunningham Youth Ranch, at which he helped thousands of troubled youths for over thirty years. He also moved on to become an Olympic runner.
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The Brain of Persistence

If you were started late with something and were falling behind from other people, you would be obligated to move up and exceed expectations or goals that are placed by you or by other people. One example is Albert Einstein. Einstein only started to speak when he was four years old, and his parents and teachers thought he had a mental illness. He also avoided other children and had many temper tantrums. He did well in school but did not like the disciplined style of the teachers. But out of all these problems, he still persisted and became the face of modern physics, and won a Nobel prize. He was so well known that during his autopsy, a doctor preserved his brain without his family's consent, and after decades of study, Einstein's brain is now located at the Princeton University Medical Center.
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Famous People Who Have Failed and Persevered

Famous Failures


Works Cited

Source 1: "Glenn Cunningham". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2015. Web. 29 May. 2015

"Albert Einstein." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 29 May 2015.<http://www.biography.com/people/albert-einstein-9285408>.

"Albert Einstein: Fact or Fiction?" History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 29 May 2015. <http://www.history.com/topics/einsteins-life-facts-and-fiction>.

Athulith Nemakal

Scullen Middle School Student