Recently, my son Scout and I spent a weekend in Long Boat Key, Florida. After a crazy delicious meal at Mar Vista Dockside (you simply must go there if you are ever in the area, you eat under trees strung with white lights, magic…but, I digress…..) we fell asleep with the TV on. I woke back up around 1 am to a special on ESPN and it was awe inspiring.
The special was about a man named Rob Mendez. You see, Rob was born without arms or legs a syndrome called tetra-amelia. The show started with video from his childhood. It showed him learning how to roll, and how to draw and write with a pen in his mouth. He tried to do everything his peers could do, even taught himself how to play video games with the controller under his chin.
As he got older his friends began playing football and he hung out with the team learning everything he could.
He has never held a football.
He has never thrown a pass.
But, he’s been drawing plays since he discovered The Madden video game as a middle schooler. He fell in love with the game. If you’re thinking it seems like a dead end career path for a young man with no arms or legs, think again.
He is now a JV High School football coach.
His motto is “Who Says I Can’t?”
Stories like his always give me pause.
I look at myself and my healthy body and I think about how often I’ve thought I couldn’t do something.
The truth is, we are our own worse critics.
No one puts the kibash on our dreams more than our own brains.
But, I hope you remember this story. And, the next time you are faced with a challenge or a real desire to pursue a dream and your own brain plus one hundred people tell you whatever you want is impossible. I encourage you to channel your inner Rob Mendez and say out loud “Who says I can’t?” Then go do the very thing your brain and those other naysayers have told you can’t do.
If a man without arms and legs can navigate life in a wheelchair controlled by his head and neck and coach a team of high school athletes I’m pretty sure there is nothing you can’t do either.
Your new mantra, repeat after me… “Who Says I Can’t.”