Bella was born with brain abnormalities. She has been diagnosed with global developmental delay, and more recently, with severe autism spectrum disorder. At four years old, she is cognitively at the level of a one-year old. We weren’t sure that she would ever be able to walk. I cried when she took her first steps at the age of two and a half years old.
When I train for races, I often feel like giving up. 15km into my workout, my legs start feeling heavy and tired. My brain is mentally exhausted. These physical and mental hills feel impossible to hurdle. When that happens, I think of my daughter. I think about how, at 4 years old, she has already endured countless physiotherapy, occupational, speech and language therapy sessions. I think about her courage, her perseverance, and her natural instinct to work hard to overcome her personal challenges. She teaches me that trials make life interesting. She inspires me to conquer my fears and to take on new obstacles.