Underdog Mentality

A brother’s influence

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My older brother played a major role in my life. There were funny childhood memories of him getting us into trouble by applying our sister’s lipstick on my face. However, he was a good influence and I probably would not have been as interested in sports if it were not for him. Also, I probably would not have been as interested in learning to play the piano or guitar.

As stated in the title, I always felt like I was at a slight disadvantage during any physical activity. The main reason was due to the difficulties I experienced while attempting to figure out how to catch a baseball or football when some of my right shoulder muscles were weakened or paralyzed from a brachial plexus nerve injury at birth. Although I had many sessions of PT at Children’s Hospital Oakland, I was high functioning from a healthcare standpoint. Knowing what I know now as a PT student, I accomplished a variety of high-level tasks, such as donning a button up dress shirt or doing a set of push-ups. But there was something left to be desired. As a kid, I would try things but I had no idea what goals I wanted to accomplish. I tried tossing a ball with my right hand but, after several failed attempts to get the desired result, I resorted to recess games like wall ball or four square.

Back to my main point… my brother pushed me to do things, whereas other high-functioning individuals like myself might not come close to reaching their full potential because of the void in quality continuum of care. I can say now that I ran for my high school cross country and track & field teams. I can say that I learned how to snowboard, skimboard, and wakeboard. Despite the obstacles I faced, I learned how to accomplish physically challenging feats under the guidance of my older brother.

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