As one might imagine, it was quite the challenge for such a juvenile mind to comprehend.
It took me some years to understand the gravity of the situation. I have a condition that
disrupts my ability to control my own body. From the age of seven I have been in
training. A lifetime stuck in the independent study course, “Control your Body 101.”
Living with TS has gifted me with a lot of opportunities to introspect. Tourette’s is a
great stress indicator. It tells me exactly how I think my life is going. More stress means
more tics. More tics means I have the chance to find the source of my stress and change
some aspects of my life accordingly.
A disciplined lifestyle has inspired me to embrace every challenge from high school and
on to college. It is imperative for me to improve my work so that I can truly accomplish
my goals, something I have always been proud of. I have been focusing my efforts on
rowing, where I have especially excelled in the last year. This is my third year competing
and I am currently training for junior nationals in New Jersey come next June. Just to
qualify is a test all itself. I can’t tell anyone right now if I will achieve the goal, but I do
know that I have a chance, and my chances have gone from, “no way, not ever,” to,
“maybe, if you keep working hard,” to, “with a bit of luck, yes you can.”
What I have been able to do is meld together my tics and everyday life and turn them into
a gift, not an affliction. It has come so far that, if you were to ask me if I would want to
get rid of Tourettes, I would respond with a firm, “no.” Partially out of pride, but also out
of fear, because Tourettes has defined me. I can’t even comprehend what I would do or
where I would be without it. It taught me how to live my life the way I wanted to. It
taught me an amazing lesson that I still cherish.