Global Q&A: ‘What’s something you’ve done that others said was impossible?’

April 25, 2012 Updated: September 29, 2015

Become a professional skateboarder, live in a cave, and graduate from high school represent the variety of achievements that Epoch Times reporters from New York to Dubai discovered when they asked locals:

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Jamal Simmons, New York, USA (The Epoch Times)

New York, USA

Jamal Simmons, 39, Novelist

Others said it was impossible when I was a boy to become a professional skateboarder. And I actually managed to be on the cover of the Transworld Skateboarding magazine in April 1991. I was told I would never be able to do that, and I did it.

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Corneliu Vlad Stancescu, Bucharest, Romania (The Epoch Times)

Bucharest, Romania

Corneliu Vlad Stancescu, 65, Professional Photographer

After reading the book “The Forbidden Volcano” by Haroun Tazieff, I wanted to have a similar experience for myself. So, I went into a cave to live there for some days, without counting the time, without much except some cans of food. I lived this way for three to four days, even if it seemed like seven to me. Of course, when I told others, they refused to believe me.

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Alexander Cardona Atehortua, Itagui, Colombia (The Epoch Times)

Itagui, Colombia

Alexander Cardona Atehortua, 35, Accountant

I have the conviction that in life nothing is impossible. … Personally last year in my profession, public administration, a small group of us dared to denounce some people of the previous administration who were doing things improperly, very extrajudicial, which went beyond the limit, without ethics. Many people said that it was impossible that a small group denouncing a machinery—some people with a lot of power and money—and yet we were fortunate to remove a mayor who was not doing things well.

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Pamella Escribano, Itatiba, Brazil (The Epoch Times)

Itatiba, Brazil

Pamella Escribano, 29, Canine Beautician

I wanted to work with dogs, but everybody said I could not, because I had to have expertise to groom dogs, and they said that I would mess up. But I didn’t give up, and kept looking for, and I found a place that gave me the opportunity to learn how to groom dogs and work with them. I learned, and now I’m a canine beautician. I did not lose my will when others told me I couldn’t do it. 


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Hugo Velásquez, Lima, Peru (The Epoch Times)

Lima, Peru

Hugo Velásquez, 67, Electronic Technician

What I did was buy a house and try to pay it off. Many said it was impossible. However, I have been paying for seven years and only have two left to pay it off. I too thought it impossible because for 27 years I have been ill with an intestinal infection.

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David Tutt, 20, Maroochydore, Australia (The Epoch Times)

Maroochydore, Australia

David Tutt, 20, laidoff Warehouse Stock hand

What people have said is impossible or near impossible for me is actually graduating from high school, completing year 12, and passing. Some people were shocked. Some people were actually shocked that I passed high school. I’m pretty happy. 
Editor’s Note: David is currently doing further studies.

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Jessica Rasic, Dubai, Arab United Emirates (The Epoch Times)

Dubai, Arab United Emirates

Jessica Rasic, 20, Media Student

“It always seems impossible until it is done.” Nelson Mandela’s quote couldn’t fit more perfectly with the way I live my life today. By living on my own as a student here in Dubai since the age of 18—and leaving my family back home in Australia—I feel I have already accomplished an independent lifestyle, been given incredible opportunities, and learned precious life lessons that many my age could only dream of. I am not only pursuing my dreams as a student, but also living them by working as a part-time journalist—and it’s been great!

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Maniatis Sotiri, Greece (The Epoch Times)


Maniatis Sotiri, 33, Private Employee

That I managed to do a marathon. It seemed easy to me, but for some other people who may have had health problems, it was not.

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Birgitta Lundh, Aneby, Sweden (The Epoch Times)

Aneby, Sweden

Birgitta Lundh, 66, Shop Assistant

Maybe not something that others would say. But when it comes to what I think myself, I have changed a lot lately. My husband died, and after that I moved to a little commune, where I don’t know anyone. To get contact with people and make new friends, I have started to do a lot of new things that I never thought of before, such as water gymnastic, line dancing, and now I am about to learn boule. Earlier, whatever I did, I did it together with my husband.


Look for the Global Q&A column every week. Epoch Times correspondents interview people around the world to learn about their lives and perspectives on local and global realities. Next week’s global question: “Do you think about the risks journalists take to bring us news from dangerous places?”