The coaches noticed teenager Amaris Tyynismaa during a 5K race as she ran past some of best distance runners in the South. They admired her long strides as she ran faster than everyone else. They noticed that, remarkably, she had a smile on her face, while others seemed tired from all the exercise.
She completed the race at 16:57 which was one of the best times for high school-age girls back in 2014. When Amaris ran this race, she was a middle schooler.
This is when her coaches realized she was a talented runner, who could one day be a competitive runner. Maybe even an Olympian. No one would have thought doctors had diagnosed Amaris with Tourette syndrome years ago.
Often times, people associate Tourette’s with loud outbursts and swearing. Yet, 90 percent of those living with it do not uncontrollably yell inappropriate words. For Amaris, she has some uncontrollable impulses to move her body (or tics). Other times she might make small noises, but nothing like pop culture shows it.
Amaris tried to control her tics but would get frustrated after holding it in all day. So her parents put her in soccer and discovered that, with constant running, she hardly had any tics.
Neurologists believe that symptoms subside when a person with Tourette’s plays sports or focuses his or her attention on something other than the tics. Running is definitely Amaris’ thing!
Click here to read more about her story.