The Monday Memo
February 16, 2015 PITT DPT STUDENTS
“You Can’t or You Won’t?”
It can be so easy at times to feel that we are incapable of achieving our goals. We can’t find the time. It would take too much effort. The odds are against us. The world is out to get us. We physically cannot muster the will power and rise to the challenge before us. We have become complacent with where we find ourselves and listen to others tell us that that is all the farther we can push ourselves. And it can be all too easy to accept what those people are telling us, and sulk in our perceived inabilities. But some of us will refuse to accept defeat, some of us will look to something greater, and some of us will not let anything or anyone stop them from achieving their goals. This is what Kyle Maynard has done.
Kyle Maynard, if you haven’t heard of him, is an accomplished author, speaker, athlete, hiker, and mountain climber. He has won the GNC’s World’s Strongest Teen award and has played football. Kyle has been inducted into the National High School Wrestling Hall of Fame, published a book, and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. Kyle Maynard has done all of these things before the age of 28, and he has done it all while being a quadruple amputee.
Born with quadruple congenital amputation in which fibrous bands prevent the development of full limbs, Maynard does not have functional appendages distal to his elbows or knees, and yet he has never let this stop him. From playing nose tackle in pee-wee football to training as a mixed martial arts fighter, Maynard has never let what others saw as a disability limit his performance, even to the point of using specially designed orthotics to climb the 19,340 feet to the summit of the tallest mountain in Africa.
This amazing example of human endeavor is one that we should all remember. It can truly put things into perspective, both for ourselves and for the patients we see. It is proof that so many of the barriers we perceive to be in our way of our goals are really just in our heads, and no mountain is too tall to be conquered.
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