Saturday, April 18, 2009

Never Give Up: Conference Take-Away #8

Guest Blogger: Delaney Flanagan
Delaney is a middle school student, a talented writer and she makes her mom very proud.

“Never give up,” is a term that we’ve all heard, but at the recent Northern Colorado Writers Conference the reoccurring phrase was drilled so much into all of our heads, it actually stuck.

At the conference there were over 20 choices of workshops and sessions, along with many different pitch sessions, and keynote speakers. And through most of those workshops the instructors were giving tips on how to make it in the writing world and not give up after our first rejection. But the presentation that really stuck out to me was the last keynote speaker, Tricia Downing.

As she rolled her wheelchair up the small ramp to the stage, all of us writers prepared for a story. She started right into her tale, not bothering with an introduction, but we got the idea of who she was after a few sentences; an athlete. From a young age, she was doing gymnastics and swimming and as she grew older she fell in love with biking. She decided to go professional, but a car crash wrecked her dreams and caused her to be paraplegic.

She thought her athletic life was crushed, but she was wrong. As she worked with her Recreational therapist, those dreams started to form again, but in a different perspective. She trained on her hand bike, and racing bike, and taught herself how to back stroke swim in the pool.

A few years later she wanted to compete in a triathlon. She entered the qualifying round in Texas, for the Hawaiian Ironman triathlon. Near the end of the race she wanted to give up…quit and go home, but she finished the race in just the right amount of time.

When Hawaii came around, she was pumped up, and ready to race. This race was a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike race, and a 26.2 mile run. But as she was halfway through, all the energy left. And before she knew it she was out of time and a van was picking her up, telling her she was done. After that she wanted to give up…..but she didn’t. She trained harder, and now competes in many races and even became the first female paraplegic to complete an Iron distance triathlon

So what the moral of this story? Well I think it’s never give up even when life throws you a curve ball, and flips you upside down. You should keep moving forward even when it gets hard, because you will make it eventually. And through the whole writer’s conference, I looked deeper into that concept and found myself believing it.

Even in the writers’ world, we find ourselves wanting to give up after the first rejection, but must learn to keep moving forward, for eventually we will make it. And when we do our successes will overcome our failures, and we can finally say “We made it….we crossed the finish line!"


Cynthia said...

Nice Delaney! Tricia was inspiring and you caught all the write stuff....keep up the good work!

Pat Stoltey said...

Well done, Delaney. Tricia's story is an inspiration and you told it well....Pat

Anonymous said...

You convey a wonderful spark of energy in your writing. Don't ever give up!...Aunt Diane

svst said...

Way to go Delaney, it seems you've caught the "talented writer bug" that seems to run in your family. I'm very proud of you...Aunt sharon

2 Teach The Teacher said...

What an inspiring story! The courage that woman had to share her story, too. Thanks so much for sharing with us all. You've received an opportunity to access such wealthy information.

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