Don’t let a disability or limitation impact your efforts to reach goals and live your dreams. Take some inspiration from role models that have overcome obstacle-s including physical disabilities- to gain recognition, success, and fame in the world of sports. Garner motivation from five amazing athletes with disabilities to inspire your own dreams!
Feeling uninspired? Life can be tough, and obstacles may seem insurmountable, but take strength in knowing that you will get through it and can overcome. It can help to hear accounts of others facing difficult odds, including physical limitations and the need for mobility aids, to gather the motivation to get through another day.
Get inspired by the stories of these five amazing athletes that have overcome disabilities:
1. Bethany Hamilton, Surfer
At the young age of 13, nationally ranked surfer Bethany Hamilton lost her arm in a shark attack. Within weeks, she returned to her surfboard. She triumphed to win the Explorer Women’s Division of the NSSA National Championships. Since that time, a feature film was made of her life to great Hollywood acclaim.
2. Jim Abbott, MLB Pitcher
Anyone who follows baseball has likely heard the inspiring story of MLB pitcher Jim Abbott. Abbot was born in Flint, Michigan, in the 60s- without a right hand. He has played for the NY Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers, Calgary Cannons, and Chicago White Sox, and he won gold at the ‘88 Summer Olympics. During his major league baseball career, he has had a total of 888 strikeouts. Jim Abbott shows that it may be these disabilities that make you the distinctive- and successful-individual that you are. The records set and accolades earned are a testament to the perseverance of this notable sports figure.
3. Kyle Maynard, MMA Fighter
Kyle Maynard is a mixed martial arts fighter that was born with a rare condition known as congenital amputation, resulting in his birth with no arms below his elbows or legs below his knees. He has strived to live an autonomous life despite his disability, becoming a champion wrestler, gym owner, skilled mountain climber, and record-breaking weightlifter. He travels widely, speaking to groups and organizations, sharing motivation and his ‘no excuses’ ideology. He is a best-selling author after publishing his autobiography also called “No Excuses,” all while supporting a number of humanitarian causes and efforts. Kyle Maynard embraces the message of not letting limitations or disabilities hinder you toward setting and reaching goals- dream big.
4. Melissa Stockwell, Swimmer
Army war veteran Melissa Stockwell returned from Afghanistan with a Purple Heart for bravery and an amputated knee. She lost her leg when serving abroad in 2004 when hit by a roadside bomb during a convoy. She began to swim as part of her rehabilitation at the Walter Reed Hospital, channeling some of her experience as a high school competitive diver. She competed in the 2008 Paralympic Games for the US and set the record in both butterfly and freestyle. She emphasizes that she can do anything despite missing her leg. She continues to speak and appear at veteran-related events and causes, inspiring with her determination and grit.
5. Team Hoyt, Runners
Finally, for a true story of inspiration and heart, consider Team Hoyt, Rick, and dad Dick Hoyt. In 1962, Dick and Judy Hoyt had their son, Rick, who was deprived of oxygen to his brain during birth. He was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with Cerebral Palsy and Rick’s parents were advised to institutionalize him, which they refused to do. They focused on providing him a life of inclusion, despite how long it was or the difficulties that they would encounter. In 1977, Rick approached his father wanting to participate in a five-mile benefit run for a classmate that had been paralyzed in an accident. His dad Dick agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair, completing the five miles, next to the last participants across the finish line. Their story of perseverance in the face of adversity inspired then and continues to inspire today. As of the 2009 Boston Marathon, Team Hoyt had officially participated in 1,000 races. They now host and sponsor the Hoyt Foundation Boston Marathon team of runners.
Get inspired to do what you need to for progress toward your own goals and ambitions. Remember to do something today- and every day- that makes you better tomorrow. This may be setting goals for your business, working toward autonomy, or committing to something that enhances health and wellbeing.
When you want to improve access and optimize mobility, consult with the industry experts at Pacific Mobility; the right mobility aids may help foster independence which may be an effective first-stride toward your own goals and dreams. Don’t let a physical disability define you or curb progress toward your own ambitions; get inspired and take control.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stair lifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
- 24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
- Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
- Licensed General Contractor since 1998
- Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
- Board Member for Home Access Professionals
- Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)