A spotlight on Kendall York

Kendall always shows immense motivation in everything he does. Even when he was on crutches, he still continued to compete in competitions. (Photo courtesy of Dodie York.)

Kendall York, a junior at Leesville Road High School, is just like any other boy. He goes to school, does his homework, hangs out with friends, and is involved with extracurriculars in and outside of school. It seems like he has a pretty normal life, right? For the most part he does.

But York has to deal with a medical condition that affects almost every aspect of his life. York has a vascular anomaly in his lower left leg. Vascular anomalies cause severe pain due to intramuscular lesions and massively dilated veins. In simpler terms, he has a big lump in his leg that causes him immense pain anytime he does anything active.

As you can imagine, the condition inhibits York from doing a lot of things that the average boy wouldn’t think twice about. His leg has prevented him from hanging out with friends, family outings, and of course playing the sport he used to love: hockey.

After years of surgeries, physical therapy, and constant pain, York decided it was time to stop playing hockey because his leg wasn’t getting any better. He also constantly sat out during games and practices because of his leg pain. It was the end of a chapter in York’s life, and an upsetting end at that.

That is where the most remarkable part of York’s life comes into play. The average boy would become insanely depressed, unmotivated, and fall into some sort of a slum, but York never even thought about becoming sad as a result of having to quit playing a sport he loved. Instead, he decided to invest his new free time and energy into something he could do.

York decided that since he couldn’t do anything that required a lot of running, he had to find another sport that was fun and competitive but he could still successfully do.

“Just like a lot of people, while I was playing hockey, I was…weightlifting, so once I had to quit playing I just gradually started to increase my gym time. I started going everyday, and started going longer for everyday, and eventually it just evolved into a full time sport for me,” said York. After York decided to get into weightlifting, he wanted to go all in and throw himself into his new found passion.

After competing in several weightlifting competitions, York decided to start a weightlifting club at Leesville. “The reason I started the club was because doing competitive powerlifting is something that I find really enjoyable and it’s not really a common sport. Getting into competitive powerlifting is really complicated because there isn’t a lot out there about it, so I started the club to give some information for people who want to start weightlifting, and about weightlifting,” said York. He wants to expand the world of weightlifting to anyone he can because it was what helped him stay involved in extracurricular activities.

York’s experience with quitting a sport he loved truly helped shape him into the person he is today. He showed outstanding motivation and determination and is a perfect role model for those who are down or upset about being injured or having a condition that inhibits them from playing a sport they enjoy.

As he was transitioning away from playing hockey, he had no problem staying positive because he had the right mindset. York said, “For me personally, becoming sad and sitting around feeling bad for myself has never been something I’ve really done because it doesn’t solve anything. That’s just how I’ve always been.”

It is apparent that the key to staying positive even through such a devastating time for any high schooler is to immediately find something else to invest newfound time and energy into. York’s key to staying positive doesn’t just apply to getting injured, it can apply to any hard life situation. For those struggling with grades, making friends, or even applying to colleges, starting off with the right mindset is essential to staying positive and not becoming pessimistic if failure occurs.


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