Hidden Hurdles

Hidden Hurdles

Around age 6 I started stuttering whenever I spoke so I had trouble getting my words out. I would have the thoughts in my head but I didn’t want to say anything because I knew I was going to stutter when I did.

 

To not say how you feel—it’s very frustrating because you have it in your mind; you just can’t say the words.

 

In high school I had to talk to the media a lot, and once they put a camera in my face that's when it got bad. I just had to work on it. I couldn't really stress about it, because that's just me. That's the way the Lord made me.

 

When I went to college I majored in speech pathology because I really wanted to learn about stuttering and how I can better my speech. Learning about it really helped.

 

I’ve learned to slow myself down and just breathe. That’s the main thing I watch for, my breathing. Sometimes I still have problems when there’s cameras on or when I get nervous but around my family and friends, I don’t stutter at all.

 

When I was approached about appearing on Characters Unite to talk to a young lady who had been bullied because of her stutter, I didn’t want to do it. That meant getting on camera.

But my wife talked me into it. She said, ’You can't keep running from the camera. Just do it. The whole world knows you stutter. It is what it is.' And she was exactly right. I’m glad I got the chance to meet Sheila and talk to her about her experiences and share some of mine. As much as I was able to help her she helped me as well.

 

It really hurts me that people mimic her sometimes. When someone does that, that’s just hurtful. But that shouldn’t stop her or anyone from doing what they do. Just because you stutter, it doesn’t mean you can’t do anything, and it shouldn’t stop you from trying.

 

For me to help her do what she loves to do—it was pretty cool.

 

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