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For many years, I sat in my dojo waiting on my husband’s karate class and staring at a poster that read, “Determination overcomes all obstacles.” At the time, I was combatting my epilepsy and couldn’t help wondering about the truth of these words. I felt they were true because I was fighting to not allow epilepsy to control me and I, more or less, felt that I was being myself without the epilepsy label. Despite my determination, I couldn’t deny the limitations my health placed on me and reflecting on this quote helped me to persevere.

After my stroke, I returned to the dojo and continued drawing strength from this quote. Somehow, I felt connected to these words and determined to find its meaning for me. Every time I felt I wasn’t enough I stared at these words and renewed my belief that I would conquer the stroke and any new challenges by remaining determined every day.

Now, I live knowing that it’s true because for every time I chose to be determined, I experienced improvement. Even if nobody else could recognize it, I felt it and I was motivated to find more challenges to practice my determination. I’m happy to share that determination overcomes all obstacles. No matter how slow the process, just believe and you shall achieve. For every obstacle encountered, you will grow strong and realize you have the power to succeed. Persevere and you will be who you’re meant to be.