Thursday, May 3, 2012

What Handicap?

What Handicap?

There once was a doctor in St Louis who met a young high school student who had lost his hand from the wrist down.  The doctor remarked about the young man’s “handicap” The young man quickly responded, “I don’t have a handicap sir.  I just don’t have a right hand.”

This amazing young man was one of the leading scorers on his high school football team.

What moxie.  That means ‘determination’.

We all need that in our lives, don’t we?

Meet Chad Hymas.  On April 2, 2001, Chad was living life at full speed.  He was a strong, robust young farmer/rancher, and he had a successful landscape business.  His life was in order.  It was full and complete, with a lovely wife and two great kids. 

On April 3, 2001, a one-ton bale of hay fell on him, paralyzing him from the chest down. 

After something like this happens, you don’t run marathons, and you don’t earn an income.  Except for his ability to talk, Chad had to re-learn all the other functional skills one needs and uses every day of our lives, even down to dressing himself.

Was it frustrating?
Was it hard?
Did he experience discouraging moments?


What did Chad do?  As he regained his mobility and strength and learned to care for himself, he sought a way to be an encouragement and inspiration to others.  His goal was to ride a three-wheeled bicycle 513 miles.  The previous record for this feat was held by Art Berg, who pedaled his three-wheel bicycle 325 miles.

One fine July morning Chad left Salt Lake City for the 513-mile trek straight to the strip in Las Vegas – on a three-wheeled bike. 

The beginning of his trail was easy – maybe even fun.  Friends lined the thoroughfare, the TV cameras were out, and Chad could hear cheers and words of encouragement as he pedaled along. 

And then came the middle of his miles.  The crowds and cameras were gone. 

Along came the heat of the day.

Along came the crickets.  At one point in this trek he encountered an infestation of Mormon crickets.  He was low to the ground on his bike, and they got into his cloths, his seat, and the crunch and smell of smashed crickets was overpowering.

Yet Chad kept pedaling.

And then along came three ugly cousins - discouragement, despair, and fatigue.  He wondered more than once if he had what it took to finish the trip.  Yes, he had a “handicap”, but he had something else too.

He had determination.

He had moxie.

Chad made it to the end!  After 513 grueling miles, Chad pedaled into Las Vegas to the cheers of his family, and the hoots and hollers of the throngs of strangers who came from inside the casinos to applaud as he rolled up The Strip.

They all cheered!

He wept. 

But he was victorious because of this dominating thought …

I may be a quadriplegic, 
but that doesn’t mean 
I am disabled.”  

Wow!  What an inspiring story. 

We all have some crutch we could use as a reason for ‘not’ doing something significant with our lives.  But really, it’s just a crutch.  What can we tackle?  What significance can we bring to someone or some institution in our corner of this world?

I have no desire to ride a three-wheeled bike 513 miles, but I can write words of hope, encouragement and inspiration that speak to people. 

What can you do?

Can you bake a pie?
Can you visit an elderly care facility?
Can you write a note of encouragement?
Can you call a friend offering words that heal?

Can you do something that matters in this world? 
Can you do something that adds value to someone, somewhere, sometime?

You may have a crutch or an ailment, but is it really a disability?

Remember what Chad said

I may be a quadriplegic, 
but that doesn’t mean I am disabled.”  

Words of inspiration for all of us.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

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