There’s no holding back Max Taylor

Komalpreet Kaur, Staff Writer

For freshman Max Taylor, starting high school was not the most overwhelming event of this past year. This year so far has offered well-deserved opportunities to the teen as he entered a new school and reached a new feat in his passion: Judo.

An Afro-Haitian raised in America by Mellisa and Paul Taylor, who adopted him when he was 3 months old, Taylor is diverse in every sense of the word.  He has pushed through difficulties unheard of for the common person, including playing the sports he enjoys while dealing with the rare condition of clubfoot.

People born with clubfoot typically cannot put their foot on the ground flat, and have a turned in foot or it is out of position at birth. Taylor has been through several tough surgeries to treat his foot and get him walking as well as he does today.

Regardless of how often the saying is heard, it rings true in Taylor´s situation that he did not let this difficulty stop him. He said, ¨The biggest part of getting better was to tell myself I could push through, and not losing faith in my strength.¨

Taylor learned to cope quickly and pursued his passion of Judo, the sport of unarmed combat which is derived from jujitsu and intended to train the body and mind. He excelled as a judoka at Southside Dojo, competing in several tournaments to put under his belt before his sensei allowed him to compete in what Taylor considers one of his biggest achievements: qualifying for the Judo National Championships. ¨Just being able to get out there and competing is a big accomplishment for me given the problem I had with my foot.¨ Taylor said.

Mellisa and Paul Taylor, his parents, are proud to have seen Max accomplish this feat at just 14 years old. ¨We´re very proud of Max, he competes against opponents older and more experienced than himself. He strives to push himself beyond his physical limitations,” said his father.

Teens are at a vulnerable age and hardships challenge their lens of the world and their own life, and the way that Taylor has pushed through is exemplary. His diverse background reminds him of what he is thankful for. He said, ¨If I was still in Haiti, I would not have received the care and support I have today, so being adopted was a blessing.¨