“My favorite words are possibilities, opportunities, and curiosity. I think if you are curious, you create opportunities, and then if you open the doors, you create possibilities.” (Mario Testino)
This past weekend I was privileged to attend a function and dinner to raise money for The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). They are a life changing organization that provides equipment, training, and support for the disabled to access sports. Three other challenged athletes and I were asked by a friend and CAF supporter to share our stories of overcoming the significant challenges in our journeys to participate in the sport of triathlon, and how CAF came along side us in special ways to support our participation.
Two of those on the panel were amputees, one of whom was the first double amputee to finish a full marathon (she did it in Boston). Jami is a true inspiration who expressed herself so well in relating her incredible story from losing her legs to frostbite as a young women, after being stranded for 11 days during a snow storm in her car.
Another of the three, Sean, lost his leg at the hip in a motorcycle accident as a young man, and now competes as a para-Olympic hopeful on a regular bike using only one leg! This athlete rides faster with one leg than most of us can ride with two!
The third, Casey, was an incredible fellow who became a quadriplegic after a diving accident as a young man. While still technically a quadriplegic, he regained much more function than the doctors ever imagined, and enough to compete as a challenged athlete in triathlons around the country. Listening to him relate his experiences in a couple different events truly showed the strength of the human spirit!
From the moment I arrived at the event location, I was impressed by the other athletes. I was so grateful for the chance to share my story and, more than anything, thankful for the opportunities and possibilities afforded to me because of people and organizations like CAF.
As I lay in bed that night after the festivities were over, tears escaped my eyes. Yes, I am blind. Yes, I am hearing impaired. Yes, I have balance issues, but because of those special people that have come into my life, many from CAF, I have the privilege to experience participating in triathlons and the wonderful possibilities that are sure to follow.
Life is full of opportunities and beautiful possibilities. It’s not always easy, and often takes curiosity to unveil the opportunities, which in turn burst with possibilities! I encourage and challenge you today to focus on finding the opportunities in your future. Which ones might just be on the horizon?
So, my friends, be curious, seek to recognize the doors of opportunity life is placing before you. Open those doors and be ready to be flooded with possibilities. For when you do, only the best is yet to come!
This Friday, on the next episode of a day in the life of a blind guy, I will be sharing about some of the opportunities and possibilities that have transformed my own life. I hope you will tune in at 1 P.M. pst.