"As I continued to spiral down a path of distraction it was a teacher of mine that helped ignite a new life in me"

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Conor's biggest obstacle to overcome started when he was 11 years old...

My life has been filled with many different obstacles. From adjusting to new living environments to self harm to domestic violence to learning another language, but the hardest obstacle I’ve ever faced was finding self love and acceptance.

I lived the first few years of my life being raised by my mother. My father left when I was 2 months old. The fist father figure I had was my step dad. He was my babysitter when I lived in Arizona and I would tell my mom everyday that she should marry him. Obviously they did marry and things were good for a while.

My stepdad was an immigrant from Germany and in the US on a visa. When he and my mom married he did not received citizenship and a few years later he was deported to Germany and we followed. My step dad was very upset by everything that happened and by the fact that we didn’t have any money because we spent most of it to move all our things to Europe.

Now this is in no way an excuse for the way my step dad behaved but it helps to give sight to what caused his change. He became abusive and hit my mother and I. A year or so later he committed suicide and my mother, sister and I were left in a country with little money and little knowledge of German. This quite extensive recollection of my life helps explain the experiences I had to deal with in order to find self love. At first I felt sorry for myself and closed the rest of the world out.

I began harming myself and letting negativity take over my life. As I continued to spiral down a path of distraction it was a teacher of mine that helped ignite a new life in me. Her name was Frau Pfau (Frau means Mrs/miss in German). She told me that whenever I felt like harming myself I should go outside and start running, and that’s what I did. I slowly began to realize that my experiences may have been bad, but if I continued to hate myself for them I would never make it out of my world of negativity.

When I was 14 I told my mom that I would be finishing out my 8th grade year in Germany and then moving back to the US to live with my grandparents and get into college in the States. She respected my decision and allowed me to go. Since then I️ have been putting my needs and desires first. If I had never gained the strength to love and take care of myself I don’t think I would have been able to make it through.

Conor's biggest inspiration is...

My mother is my biggest inspiration. She has managed so much as a single parent. From going to night school, to receiving her masters, and having the courage to leave an abusive relationship.

Conor's biggest accomplishment was when he was 21...

Winning Cross County conferences for my university. I started off my collegiate running career not even making the regional team. I listened to my coach and trusted in my ability to become the top runner on my team and eventually conference champion my senior year.

Written by Conor Dimond 

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