I lost my legs when I was four due to an disease. There are photos of my family showing me in my toddler years but the time was long since that I cannot remember it today. It could be as old-fashioned saying you can’t miss what you never had.
After being assessed by a variety of medical professionals but there was no definitive reason for what caused me to lose the feeling and movement of my lower legs. The feeling eventually returned, but I’ve never developed any significant muscle mass in my legs. The mystery of my medical history in 1974! Since then, I’ve needed crutches or wheelchairs to navigate around.
Growing up , I was blessed that I didn’t feel any feelings of jealousy or resentment towards my physically able-bodied peers, however I would often be deeply disappointed. It was clear to me that it wasn’t my fault that I could not run or walk and I accepted the reality and went moving on with my life.
Young Age Two Basic Rules Disease
The first is that life’s not always straightforward. Second one, as stated by one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century the Rolling Stones you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find, you get what you need. This has been extremely true for me.
Always a very energetic child I was always willing to give anything to try, sometimes in opposition to the demands and sometimes the pleas of my teachers and parents. Sometimes, I’d make mistakes, as we all do. But, just by trying my hand at it I gained recognition from colleagues and have never been devoid of friends.
When I was seven years old my parents purchased me skateboard at age seven. In the past, I’d wear the prints that escaped my fingers as I walked with my friends through the Canberra suburbs riding that skateboard. I’d return home with bark on my knees and elbows. And often my parents would have wondered what the point was of buying the skateboard in the first place.
I loved my skateboard, it gave me independence. A swollen elbow and knees taught me valuable lessons. If you’re in a bind, you can pick yourself up, clean yourself and then go back.
My journey into sports began in 1982, when I was 12 when I began archery. Just a few months after that, at the suggestion of a PE teacher at the high school instructor, Max Green, I started training and competing in gymnastics that was mainstream.
I was introduced to my gymnastics teacher Chris Timpson at my first competition. This was a pivotal moment for me in the course of my career. Chris ignited a fire in me and ignited a passion for sports that burns even today.
I competed, trained and then coached gymnastics over the following six years. I competed against physically fit athletes, and I was forced to fall to my knees. Since this is an fall, my routines were always penalized accordingly.
However, the more proficient I did on the apparatus the more competitive I was in general, since the penalty for falling upon my knees too high to be able to pass off. My gymnastics career ended around the age of 18, by which at that point, I was more focused on coaching rather than training.
Through this period, I developed my love of sport and developed a few physical and psychological disease skills that set the stage for an elite sports career.
I was almost 24 when I got into a the disability-specific sport. My first sports was powerlifting. I was well-suited to this, having very thin legs and a built upper body that allowed me to have a high power-to-weight ratio.
My Paralympic debut in Atlanta in 1996. However, Sydney 2000 was the most memorable. At a weight of 58.1 kg I bench-pressed 175 kg. This was my personal best as well as a new national record for the 60kg category, and the first triple bodyweight bench-press by an Australian. I was fortunate enough to earn the silver medal the day.
On the podium I was not thinking wow! I’m the 2nd highest ranked person in the world. I realized that this was the culmination of years of commitment along with some compromise and foremost the hard work. It justified the many decisions I made to achieve it.
As of 2002, I participated at my first ever Manchester Commonwealth Games where I also received the silver medal. After that, a few months later, I participated in my last international powerlifting competition , which was held at the World Championships in Malayasia.
Athletes And Nations Disease
I finished a very close fourth. At the time, I believed that some athletes and nations weren’t playing within the rules. This led me to shift my activities to road and track racing in search of chances to compete, and a more even playing field. I was a sprinter in the beginning and then slowly moved into more middle-distance races.
I also took the decision to change my sport because I’m never going to give up on my quest to be the best I can be. For me, motivation is about getting your front wheel onto the starting line with the best athletes in the world and giving it a hot scratch.
If I wasn’t able to make it to the 2004 Athens Paralympics for some reason, I’d know I wasn’t up to the task and wouldn’t be in a state of what if? I’ll know for sure as a wheelchair racer that I can be a great weightlifter!
As American footballer Preston Pearson is reputed as saying, anyone can stand tall at the top of the mountain. The ones who make it through the valleys between the peaks that emerge as the strongest.