Not All Giants Are Tall

On The Shoulders Of Giants With Andrew Curtis.

Andrew Curtis | May 15, 2024

Last year, Anna was living a fairly normal life as a high-schooler, doing well in school, and playing soccer.

“The reason I’m tall is because I stand on the shoulders of giants.” That is a quote that I take to heart. I live my life giving thanks to the people who help lift me up, inspire me, and in general just make me strive to be a better man. Many of my giants are no longer living, but many are.

Somewhere along the way, I realized that my giants come in all shapes, sizes and even ages. Most of my giants are older than I, but not all. Some of my giants I have never met, nor will I ever. Some of my giants, in fact, are smaller. Physical stature, I have learned, has no bearing on the morality of a person, and neither does age, to an extent. I can think of one who is younger and shorter than I and also one whom I have not met yet, but she has earned the right to be on my giants list.

Last year, Anna was living a fairly normal life as a high-schooler, doing well in school, and playing soccer. One day at the goalie position, Anna dove on the ground for the soccer ball and was subsequently kicked in the back by an opponent. The tough girl tried to walk it off, but her parents knew that something was not right.

At the emergency room that night, the family received shocking news. Her kidney had been significantly damaged, nearly torn in half, but none of the doctors could predict the true, life-threatening severity. Removing the affected kidney was mentioned early in the course of treatment, but the plan was to try to save it first. Through a series of ups and downs, this brave girl patiently battled her way back, after numerous surgeries and procedures to salvage her traumatized kidney. And yet through it all, she continued to live her life, dream big and believe that God would guide her.

Now, fully recovered by the grace of God, Anna has signed with a college to play soccer. But her largest success isn’t her soccer talent or even her stellar grades… it is her faith in Christ above. She knows that she is in Good Hands, and she is not afraid to talk about her faith.

What does this story have to do with the outdoors? Well, Anna’s father is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer for GON. He has diligently pursued his outdoor passion to share it with others and has always included his children in his outdoor adventures. He’s a family man first, and when his daughter was injured, she became his focus. His amazing outdoor works through the years have inspired me more than he knows, but his greatest impact on me was showing his Christian-centered devotion to his family and his simple but earnest request that I pray for his daughter.

Little did he know just how deeply I would be touched by his daughter’s terrifying journey. I have seen how tough that kid of his can be. Also, as a father of two, I can relate to a parent’s fear of having a sick or injured child and the helplessness of being at the mercy of that which is out of our control. Anna has been so inspiring to me as her determination and faith have shown through, that I have used her strength to motivate me. That’s powerful right there… coming from someone much younger than me. The girl has taught me so much. She has definitely earned the right to be on my giants’ list.

GON is full of outstanding people like Anna and her family, and I am so thankful to know members of this strong outdoor community. It is full of giants, both big and small, old and young… amazing people of utmost character who lift me up and encourage me to live my life the best that I can.

And Anna is certain proof that not all giants are tall….

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