- A South African man without legs participated in the men’s 400 metres race in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
- A French swimmer who lacks legs and arms successfully swam across the Bering Straight, the frigid waters separating Alaska and Russia.
- W. Mitchell was in a motorcycle accident that left three-quarters of his body covered by third degree burns. His face was burned beyond recognition, and all of his fingers were burned off . Within 6 months after the accident he co-founded a company that made him a millionaire. Mitchell bought a plane and got his pilot’s license. Then, his plane crashed: due to injuries from the crash he was confined to a wheelchair. Not even this could stop Mitchell: he continues to live life to the fullest. Here’s a quote from Mitchell regarding his motorcycle and plane accidents:
“Before my accidents, there were ten thousands things I could do. I could spend the rest of my life dwelling on the one thousand that I had lost, but I instead chose to focus on the nine thousands I still had left.”
- Laura Vikmanis fulfilled her dream of becoming an NFL cheerleader at the age of forty. Now 43, and surrounded by a sea of twenty-year-olds, she says the following: “I look at myself as a role model for my children to show them no matter what age or what dream you have, you can work really hard and achieve it”.
- Max Cleland lost both legs and an arm at the age of 25 while fighting in Vietnam. He went on to serve as a member of the United States Senate, representing the state of Georgia.
- Christopher Plummer won his first Academy Award (Oscar) at the age of 82.
- Erik Weihenmayer reached the summit of Mount Everest in May 2001; he’s blind.
- In May of this year, a 73-year-old Japanese woman climbed to the top of Mount Everest.
- A Sikh man who began running at the age of 86–and who has run six London marathons, two Canada marathons, and the New York marathon–carried the Olympic torch at the 2012 Summer Olympics, at the age of 101.
- Sean Stephenson was born with a genetic disorder commonly known as “brittle bone disease”. As a result, he experienced stunted growth–he’s now an adult and is three feet tall–and suffered more than 200 bone fractures by age eighteen. He’s permanently confined to a wheelchair. However, he’s gone to achieve many of the items on his bucket list, including the following:
- Traveling the world as a motivational speaker.
- Publishing several books and becoming a bestselling author.
- Sharing the stage with the Dalai Lama.
- Throwing the first pitch at a major league baseball game.
- Obtaining a Ph.D.
- Diana Nyad is attempting to become the first person to swim the 103 miles from Cuba to Key West, Florida, without a shark cage. She’s three days shy of her 63rd birthday. Nyad had the following to say about her historic swim:
“When I walk up on that shore in Florida, I want millions of those AARP sisters and brothers to look at me and say, ‘I’m going to go write that novel I thought it was too late to do. I’m going to go work in Africa on that farm that those people need help at. I’m going to adopt a child. It’s not too late, I can still live my dreams.’”
- Grandma Moses was a renowned American folk artist who died in 1961 at the age of 101. She started painting at the age of 76, and completed over 1600 paintings before her death. Her paintings hang in nine museums in the United States, as well as museums in Vienna and Paris.
What do you want to do? Do you want to become a bestselling novelist, a congressman, or an entrepreneur? Do you want to take up running, take a painting class, or become a world-renown landscaper? Stop making excuses and start living your best life. If the people above could do it, so can you.
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