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Bitter or Better Person

December 6, 2017

This is an article from our winright program.  It is the story of Melissa Stockwell.


Former NFL coach Dan Reeves believed “tough times are intended to make us better, not bitter.” Keeping that thought in mind, he would have loved Melissa Stockwell’s story. Melissa is an above the knee amputee. As a soldier in 2004, she was leading a convoy into Baghdad when a roadside bomb exploded. She was the first female soldier to lose a leg in the Iraq War and received a Bronze Star and the Purple Heart for her service to our country. How did she handle her adversity? Did it make her better or bitter? As part of her physical therapy, she swam in the pool at Walter Reed Hospital. In time, she ramped up her training to a level few people could comprehend. Before she was done, she was able to compete in the 2008 Paralympic Games in 3 events. Competing for America, she broke the world record in two events—the 100 meter butterfly and the 100 meter freestyle. In 2016, on September 11, she returned to win a Bronze medal in the first ever Paratriathlon. Quite simply, adversity made Melissa Stockwell better, not bitter.


Personal Reflection  (ask yourself this) - When adversity appears in your life do you get better or bitter?  When coaches demand more of you as a person and a player do you get better or bitter?  Who do you want to be in life, the bitter or the better person?

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