Defining Moment

A little eight year old girl stood backstage in anticipation of her first dance recital.  It was her classes turn on stage, and the little girl waited feeling the excitement from the crowd compiled parents and siblings.  She walked to her spot, took a deep breath, and watched as the curtain lifted knowing this was the point of no return.  The music started and the dance was underway.  She knew all of her steps and the class stayed in perfect time with the music.  All of the sudden a defining moment was upon this little girl.  A back-bend from a standing position to the floor then returning to the original standing position.  The little girl was not the most flexible, in fact her back-bends resembled more of a plank rather than an arc.  Bending back and standing back up was this little girls arch nemesis.  It didn’t matter how much she practiced, or how often she stretched, this particular movement had no guarantees of success.

In that moment she threw her head back searching for the floor and hoping her scrawny arms would be strong enough to break her fall.  As her hands connected with the floor she was grateful that once again her arms didn’t let her down.  Now, she just needed to get back up.  She rocked back and forth, gaining momentum, in her first attempt.  Unfortunately the momentum was not enough and her hands once again landed on the stage.  She thought of what her teacher had told her, that if she was unable to get back up, she should just continue on with the rest of the dance as if nothing had happened.  In that one moment the little girl could feel the tension in the crowd, the silence of even the smallest breath, and the sheer hope coming from the direction of her family.  One more try, she thought, I can do this, everyone is watching.  Rocking back and forth, gaining the much-needed momentum she used her strength of mind and body to carry her to  an upright position.  She had done it!  This little girl, in front of a lot of people, showed what she was truly made of!  She stood there with an enormous smile on her face as she watched the crowd roar with cheers and whistles!  Pride and accomplishment overwhelmed her as in that moment the crowd’s applause was for her and her alone.

I was that little girl, and to this day I think of her often.  She had the chance to give up but instead, decided to keep fighting.  Because of this, I have decided to have the surgery to elongate my intestines in hopes of improving my quality of life.  I would like to say that I’m not scared because this isn’t my first rodeo, but lets face it, one never gets ‘good’ at surgery.  The recovery time is better than I had anticipated, and hopefully this will be the last surgery for a while.  My doctor, also known as my angel, will be performing it at the Cleveland Clinic sometime in August.  I am grateful that he saw the cruelty in his words and apologized for the way he handled the situation, for without him I feel lost. My confidence in him has been restored and I hope this surgery will be a huge success.

In August I will once again take the stage and gain momentum until I can stand up on my own once again.  I will do it for that little girl who wouldn’t give up, for the sheer hope of my friends and family, and the confidence in knowing that after all of the trials and tribulations I will once again hear that crowd cheer, if only for a moment, just for me.

Copyright © , 2012 Carly Speelman



  1. Jane Hazeltine

    Well done, Carly
    Love you,
    Aunt Jane

  2. Janis Kipp

    I will say a big “Bravo”! ( I am Brian’s mom and have been reading your blog!) Wish you nothing but the best. Chin up!

  3. Thank you for your support! Look forward to meeting you one day!

  4. Kay Brandt

    I learned of your blog from your Aunt Carla. I’ll be praying for a successful surgery for you! Keep the faith. You will be better soon!

    Your dad will remember me as Kay Motycka.

  5. Thank you so much for your prayers!

  6. Jo Giessler Staude

    Praying for you, Carly. I grew up with your dad. I call him Bobby or Speedy! Your grandparents and my parents live just miles apart. I also knew you when we both lived in Findlay, Ohio. I read your blog.. well done girl. Stay stong and believe!

  7. hav73

    I remember that time like it was yesterday. I knew flexibility was not in your DNA, but you were always so strong physically. It was a warm up to making you strong mentally i guess, though I didn’t realize that at the time. You never disappoint your biggest fan, me!

  8. Lisa Salsburey

    Carly-you are an AMAZING young woman and I love to read your blog. I wil pray for your successful surgery. Continue to stay strong and have faith!!

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