I have what some would consider serious scoliosis, and yet I have dreams I have achieved, and some I pray, can be fulfilled. And why not?

x-ray of scoliosis or curved spine full lengthI chanced upon this website, which has a long list of celebrities in all genres, from sports, to stage, to music, who grappled with scoliosis and still reached their summits.

Some of these celebrities include Linda Blair (actress), Usain Bolt (Olympian runner), Sarah Michelle Gellar (actress), Daryl Hannah (actress), Kristin Kreuk (actress), Yo-yo Ma (classical musician), General Douglas MacArthur (soldier), Liza Minnelli (actress), Rebecca Romijn (actress), Elizabeth Taylor (actress), and many others. All of them braved surgeries, or endured scoliosis in adulthood, and went on to great things in life.

I have achieved many things, thanks to the mercy of God, and perhaps through my slightly autistic bent, I braved through many obstacles without realizing much of the struggles. In hindsight, without Divine Mercy, I would not have done many things, and I may not even have survived.

Still, I have some more dreams to chase, and I intend to fulfill them. I was wondering if my early stage foray was prematurely ended, or that my interests in music and painting were sidelined by my consulting and writing careers. But I never did lose hope that one day, I would chase them up with vigor again.

I used to feel embarrassed about my scoliosis and would hide under very loose clothes, tucked out so that I would naively hoped that nobody noticed the hump on my back.

Since my younger brother CJ and I published our book “This Body This Life” many years ago, I wore my scoliosis as a badge of honor, held in its place by decades of working out in the gym and advocating resistance training to build core and muscle strength. The strange truth is that even though people obviously noticed my scoliosis, they were more intrigued by my general physique and were more curious to learn what kind of workout regimes or diets I follow. People tend to be kinder than I might have imagined in my youth.

So, whatever challenges we face, there is always someone or even a large community out there who might have faced the same challenges, wrestled these challenges to the ground, and moved on with life with badges of honor and wins. It is up to us to rise up to any challenge that comes our way, and to go after with vigor and smiles all the dreams we have. May your journey be blessed with joy and inspiration.

This Body This Life book authored by Seamus Phan and CJ Phan