After a lifetime of secrets and thousands of kilometres of running, I have decided it is time to come clean.
I have sensorineural hearing loss. I am wearing hearing aids and had felt a failure since I was born. Why?
When I was younger, many people I interacted with thought my hearing loss gave me a disadvantage, they assumed I was incapable of succeeding. Their assumptions fuelled my belief that I was a failure.
Being a pianist with hearing loss seemed to be like a person with a leg missing trying to become an Olympian runner but I never gave up and graduating at Music College was one of my greatest achievements in life to date. I had won this battle, and I could start to dream of a very different future as I had proved to myself that my hearing loss was insignificant to what I could achieve,
I began to listen to my heart and spirit and built an inner circle of supportive people. Failure was not an option.
I worked hard, twice as hard to ensure I could follow my dreams and not let my hearing loss stop my enjoyment of life and music.
Hearing loss makes you feel ashamed and really affects your confidence in professional and social situations. I and many others hide their hearing aids. When I’m comfortable and secure, I am loud and gregarious, when I’m unsure I become quiet and inward.
I’m running for the Ear Foundation hoping to help others who live with hearing loss as well. People who also have a feeling that they are not good enough to live their dreams and try hard to win their own battles.
Perhaps I am not the best runner or the best pianist yet running is for me the same thing as playing the piano - it is a great reminder that nothing should stop us from doing or dreaming of things we love just because we feel less talented or capable.
Always do your best, never give up, and never ever think of yourself as a failure.
Thank you very much for helping me help others.