Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Greatness on Display

My boyfriend, Rick, is 49 years old. He was born with cerebral palsy. He's been walking on crutches his whole life. As he's gotten older, his agility and flexibility have decreased like it does for all of us, only it's more noticeable because of his disability.

And he doesn't let any of that stop him.

The picture above is Rick after finishing a 5K race in just under one hour. Now, I'm a lot younger than him, and able-bodied, and *I* couldn't run the 5K. But there we were, with him running and me cheering. His determination and spirit amaze me.

When Rick was in his 20's, he was a sprinter and almost made the Paralympics. He was the fastest guy on crutches (winning the 100M dash) for five years straight. As he's aged, he's kept that competitive spirit alive and moved on to road races, running the Bix (a 7 mile race) multiple times.

At this point, it had been 5 years since he last ran, but he wasn't ready to hang up his shoes yet. He prepared for the 5K, signed up, and finished it in just 3 minutes more than he would have finished it 10 years ago.

When I look at Rick, I see human greatness personified. A man who is strong in spirit and doesn't let his limitations draw boundaries around him. We can all learn a lot from him.

Aren't all of us guilty of getting tired and wanting to quit? Of doubting our abilities? Of deciding that it's just too hard to try? The next time you feel excuses and self-doubt pulling you down, think of Rick and his 5K on crutches at 49 years old. Let his spirit inspire you to greatness.

Who in your life displays greatness? I'd love to hear your stories - share in the comments!! 

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