“Pessimists calculate the odds. Optimists believe they can overcome them.” – Ted Koppel

Something that even some of those who know me well may not know about me is that when I was 12, the conditions of my knees quickly regressed to the point that they felt as if they “wobble” when I walk.

One fine day, when I was running, I slipped and dislocated my right knee which lead to a frantic visit to the hospital. Fortunately, I experienced no severe injury but after a couple x-rays and a MRI session, my doctor informed my parents that I’ve got a pretty chronic patellar instability

Basically, it means that if I don’t get a major surgery on my knees to fix the condition, there may be a high percentage that I’d eventually lose functions of my knees.

He continued to explain that should I opt out of the surgery and the condition worsens, I may not be able to walk and would likely to be in a wheelchair by the time I’m in my mid 20’s.

However, since I was still growing, my doctor strongly felt that it would best to wait 2- 4 years to go through with the operation fearing that the surgery may severely stunt my growth.

As a (hyperactive) teen, having to listen to the disheartening news that you may need to live out your adult life in a wheelchair, was nothing short of a nightmare.

Fortunately, even back then, I knew that a diagnosis is not a ‘nail in the coffin’ – I knew deep down that I have the power to change the situation around.

After a day or two of sulking, instead of continuing to succumb to the feeling of helplessness and throw myself a pity party, I decided to stay positive and decided to do all I could to strengthen my knees so the surgery wouldn’t be needed. I simply refused to entertain the thought of ending up in a wheelchair at my prime.

Long story short, through physical therapy (frequent trips to the chiropracter) and regular exercise, I was able to make slow yet steady progress.

Within just a little over a year, the doctor was amazed to find that though they were still in the process of healing and strengthening,  my knees were strong enough that he believed that surgery was no longer needed!

Fast forward to today, reminscing the traumatic yet simultaneously triumphant experience, I can’t help but smile and feel immensely grateful to my teen self for bravely choosing to defy the odds.

As a full-fledged adult, while my knees are still not 100% ‘normal’, this experience serves as a sweet reminder that I always have the choice of deciding that I am stronger than the obstacles or challenges I am faced with.

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It enabled me to find out firsthand that each one of us get to decide how our life story unravel.

If you currently find yourself in a circumstance where the odds are stacked against you, choose to believe that you have it within you to overcome it and win.

And honestly, if I can do it, anyone  can…You got this!

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