He was born a beautiful baby. However, within days he was found to be born without the fibula (the outer and narrower of two bones of the lower leg) in both his leg. When no alternatives were found, he had both his legs amputated, a painful decision by his heartbroken parent. Over a period of many years, he cope optimistically with the many decisions presented to him like the many fork in the road.
He excelled in sports and did very well to play in sporting activities, including tennis, cricket, water polo and his favourite, rugby. After severely injuring himself on the knee in a rugby match, he reached yet another fork in the road. Instead of wallowing in pity, he picked up athletics, a sport that he had not considered before. He did so well in the competitive arena to become the champion of the paralympics in the 200m and other races.
More news followed culminating on the latest quest for the Beijing Olympics for ‘able-bodied’ folk. A journey that faces more fork in the road. The road ahead for him is not going to be smooth following the reports on the challenges that he faced. Instead of showering him with praise for his determination, the sports authorities banned him from competing if he uses artificial legs, which is considered an additional aid. Can you imagine, remove it and he is legless. They have forgotten his courage, persistence and optimism despite being an amputee, which had wow me and others who had seen him compete on youtube video. One of his quote “I don’t see myself as disabled, and I think it’s the guy that wants to win the hardest that’s gets it,”
A double amputee, he has travelled the road less travelled and have made many decision when face with the fork on the road. For able people like you and me, watching his performance really inspires me to want to train for the next full marathon, do the next masters programme, wake up earlier in the morning “to catch more worms”, learn to dance the waltz, speak when opportunity arises, persist through challenges that I will face and live life to the fullest.
When next we face difficulties and challenges, remember Oscar Pistorius of South Africa (see video below). For he inspires us to be courages, to be persistent, to have the never-say-die attitude and to be optimistic when we are face with the next fork on the road to attain our next level of growth in our endeavours.