“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Stand a little taller. Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone. What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter. Footsteps are even lighter. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stronger.” Stronger by Kelly Clarkson is a world known hit or to others it might be just another annoying song on the radio. But to me, this song has been my life’s motto for the past three years.
I tore my meniscus in my left knee twice. Within nine months, I endured two surgeries, many days of physical therapy and was placed on crutches for nearly a year. No one understood the physical and emotional stress the experience caused me. I began my sophomore year of high school on crutches and was stuck in the school library to do my school work. After my first surgery I viewed that struggle as just a hurdle, because what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But the second surgery and recovery did not go so smoothly. I sat on the bench and watched my teammates play on the court, sat on the bleachers watching my friends in the show ring, and I wasn’t able to participate on my chapter officer team as much as I used to. My motto of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” just became another inspirational quote you would see on a picture at Hobby Lobby. I was caught up in the things I wouldn’t be able to do anymore and lost sight of what was important. Watching myself become bitter and distant from friends, family, clubs and school work. I wasn’t myself and I couldn’t see the joy in life anymore.
We all experience bumps in the road, where paths take a sharp turn in a different direction. It took a strong talking to from my parents and for me to come to the realization that these challenges and bumps I was facing were not for the worse, they only made me stronger.
I challenge you to go throughout your life with this same motto. You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience where you really stop and look fear in the face. Where you are able to stop and think, “What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger?”