Michael Kinoshita's essay, "This I believe"

By: Michael Kinoshita
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This essay is written by Michael Kinoshita, a sophomore at Folsom High. He wrote the essay last year as a freshman for an assignment in English class. It appears here as he wrote it, unedited by the Telegraph. This I believe Do you have some sort of disadvantage in your life, maybe some kind of disability? My name is Michael Kinoshita and I am a visually impaired or legally blind student. Because of my disability things are a lot more difficult for me in class and even in athletics, but surprisingly I am actually thankful for my disability because if I hadn’t had it I probably wouldn’t have discovered my talent. I discovered greatness within myself despite my disadvantage, and I believe that there is greatness within everyone. Many people have told me that I am an amazing runner, especially for someone my age and with my condition. At first I didn’t think there was really anything for me out there, I had no talent in sports or in school, but one day someone inspired me to run. The mans name was Richard Hunter; he is a blind runner for the United States Association of Blind Athletes. My dad had ran in the California International Marathon, and the next day my dad showed me an article about a visually impaired runner who ran the marathon. It had inspired me to run, and to one day be like Richard Hunter. My dad trained me to run for the track team at my middle school, the only event I did was the mile, and I finished the season with a personal record of 5:29. After the season I focused on running cross country next year, and when I ran my first race I was Folsom’s top Freshmen, and number two runner. I had stayed that way for the whole season and finished in top twenty every race, even in the sophomore boy’s races... In my final race I finished 13th and helped my team place second over all. My final time for that race was 12:13 on a hilly course for two miles. `Late in my season my dad ran the four bridges half marathon, and when he completed it he met Richard Hunter. My dad told Richard Hunter about me and gave him all my times from my cross country season. Richard was focusing on finding someone who could be my guide during races so I wouldn’t get lost because I couldn’t see a sine that turn left are turn right, but once he saw my times he told my dad that none of the guides are any other of the visually impaired runners he has met could keep up with me. The California International Marathon was coming near, and I was going to race in it with some of my team mates from cross country, they were Philip West, Blanka Houder, and my sister Alyse Kinoshita. I met my guide for my leg of the race, his name was Alex Greene and he is a graduate from Stanford, and we both went over to Richard Hunters house for dinner. After I ate dinner Richard Hunter came and introduced me to all the members and one of the representatives from the USABA. The words he said to me that night made me realize that I have done something great in his eye’s, Richard said that I had inspired him, that I was going to continue to inspire people all over the world and one day run for our country in the Para Olympics. What Richard said that night had inspired me to and the next day was probably my best race ever? The very next day at seven in the morning the CIM started, our runner for the first leg was Phil West and he did remarkable. After him it was my turn, once Alex and I took off I knew it was going to be a good race, I kept the pace and once I heard the first mile split I knew I was right on pace. It turned out that since they don’t stop the clock that I was at a much faster pace then expected. Once I finished the race I felt this sense of accomplishment that I had never felt before, for the first time I new I had done something great, I had beaten every ones expectation, and every member of our relay team now holds the Folsom High record for there leg, and the over all record for the relay. I learned later that night if I were even a few seconds slower we wouldn’t have won the coed relay because Vista was only seconds behind us. My time for that race was 5:53 and 44:49 over all for 7.6 miles. It just goes to show that anyone is capable of doing great things because every one has greatness within them. No matter what your disadvantage is you can do a lot more then you think, all it takes is hard work, and the will to do it. We are all capable of greatness I have seen it happen not just personal experiences, but also in others. We all can do great things at least that is what I believe. For more visit