April 1, 2011

Kyle Maynard No Excuses for an Amputee

By Jeremy Johnson

I wanted to tell you a story that should help encourage you to keep fighting. The story is of Kyle Maynard, an adult who was born without any arms or legs. Kyle spoke at my school a week ago about his life and it is incredible. He has done many amazing things. The key to being able to go on and work to be what he is now, he had to keep from making excuses.
For example, in High School he was in sports all the time. He joined the football team and he was the defensive lineman. His method of tackling was somewhat weird, it was where he would crawl as fast as he could and smash his helmet into the teenager’s shins. He also joined the wrestling team, won 32 games, and lost 16 games. In both situations, Kyle wanted to give up but his family never let him until he got good enough to win. He is glad that his family did this. Because of them, he can eat, write with his elbows and type 50 words a minute. Having a ‘no excuses’ attitude has changed his life for the better.
Later, Kyle joined a cage-fighting group and he said that everyone underestimated him. Everyone told him he would be harmed for life, killed and, lastly, punted out of the stadium. However, Kyle thought this was ridiculous because he reasoned that no one could punt 130 or so pounds. Despite all the negativity, Kyle went on to win the tournament.
In addition, he won the unofficial title of World’s Strongest Teen in 2003(23 repetitions of 230 pounds) and broke the world record for the modified bench press (360 pounds which is 3 times his body weight). He got this award because of his attitude toward life. When he was 11 years old, Kyle tied ropes to his elbows and attached 2.5 pounds to each arm. He performed the modified bench press and that was all he could lift. Whenever Kyle went to gyms, there were three types of people in there. Those who looked down on him and what he was doing, those who supported him, and of course the people who didn't care. He worked hard enough to get to the point when the ropes broke from the weight so he used chains. Later, the chains broke so he went flying across the room from the whiplash. He uses stronger chains now. 
Throughout his life, people have doubted Kyle’s ability, although he is always able to surprise the competition. Repeatedly he proves the impossible is possible. You can do it too. 
To learn more about Kyle, look for his book, No Excuses: The True Story of a Congenital Amputee Who Became a Champion in Wrestling and in Life, Regnery Publishers, 2005.

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