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Overcoming Adversity

Jul 15, 2008
True success doesn't come from privilege. It comes from spirit. Bonnie St. John is a perfect example of this. If you believe the stereotypes of the world are true, you'd have a hard time believing how much success Bonnie has seen in her life as an Olympic skier. When life knocks her down, she gets right back up.

Bonnie St. John was raised by a single mother in San Diego. They were very poor, and what's worse is that Bonnie had to have one of her legs amputated at age five. Without any snow or money, her crazy dream was to be a skier. Her mother was always supportive of her and never tried to compensate for the disability.

Black people don't ski? Black people don't swim? Black people don't golf? Not true! The stereotypes are everywhere. I'm sure the Tiger Woods' of the world would agree! One of Bonnie's motivations for success was always to motivate OTHERS to success. She remembers this goal from as far back as her teens. Today she's one of ten thousand members of an African-American ski club.

Before her days of fame, when she was just a kid, a classmate named Barbara Warmath invited Bonnie to go on a family ski trip during the Christmas break. It was a moment of dreams. Bonnie was the kid everyone either teased or didn't notice. She rode a special bus and was exempt from PE classes. This was the chance of a lifetime.

Bonnie St. John's friend invited her in early November to accompany the family on the Christmas ski trip. That gave her only a few short weeks to come up with the money and ski gear to be able to go. With the help of odd jobs, the Yellow Pages, and the Salvation Army, she was ready!

Skiing proved harder than even Bonnie St. John could have imagined. She was constantly falling down as she fought with the prosthetic leg. She didn't know what equipment to buy, so her knit mittens left her fingers cold and met. None of it mattered, though. Bonnie was having the time of her life!

Through the Ski Club, Bonnie St. John was later able to get appropriate ski attire and begin ski lessons. She found other amputees who weren't only skiing, they were racing. Bonnie joined in the fun and decided that still wasn't enough. She wanted to train for the U.S. Olympic Ski Team.

Anyone can have success in their life. Each of us has our own obstacles to overcome. Some are tougher than others, but all can be achieved with some creativity and determination. Never give up on your passions. Live your life to the fullest, and get up each time you fall.
About the Author
Do you have the motivation to succeed? Bonnie St. John overcame immense obstacles to fulfill her passions. Visit Bonnie St. John to learn how you can learn from her experiences.
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