By Lexi Pappas
Every year my school holds a public speaking colloquium where over 50 people participate. It is a competition for students to prepare a 3 minute speech on any topic they would like. It can be motivational, inspiring, funny, informational, etc. I decided that this would be my year to compete in it.
I used to always hide my FSHD, but something changed within me this year. I have opened up and I am starting to share my story. I sent in my application and was able to participate in the preliminary round.
I felt extremely nervous during the weeks leading up to the competition. Finally it came time to do it and my whole body couldn’t stop shaking. I got up on that podium and told my story.
I did not end up making it to the final round (only 6 out of 50+ made it). At first I was sad that I did not make it but then I realized how impressed with myself I was for actually doing it in the first place. Ever since then I’ve felt a great boost of confidence. The judges loved my speech and told me how brave I was to do that and that made me happy. From now on, I am not going to hide my disability, I am going to share my story with anyone who will listen.