Whenever I start to feel sorry for myself for whatever reason, I try to pause and think about my brother-in-law. He’s a pretty impressive guy.
He has managed to become a partner in a prestigious financial-services firm. He is also a two-time Olympic gold-medal winner and is currently trying to qualify for the 2020 games in Tokyo.
Did I mention that he was born without legs? He serves as a living reminder that we can accomplish far more than we might think so long as we avoid self-pity and stay focused.
According to The Seattle Times, that’s exactly what Seattle University freshman Teresa Buchholz has done. Buchholz was born without arms.
Despite that, she still writes, texts, swims, plays soccer and dances. Far from treating her armlessness as a hindrance, she likes to make it into a joke, sometimes telling people that she was the victim of a vicious shark attack.
“It’s not easy to be different — and obviously physically different — because everyone notices and the attention is always on you whether you want it or not,” she said. “But I was raised to never back down from a challenge, and my mom always encouraged me to step up.”
The Daily Mirror reported that a Chinese man named Guo Wenxian similarly refused to step back from something that seemed impossible. When Guo was only seven years old, he lost his arms due to an accident with power lines.
But that didn’t stop him from learning how to drive. In fact, as the decades rolled on, he traveled a total of some 100,000 miles — despite the fact that it was illegal for him to drive in China.
Unfortunately for him, he was caught during a traffic stop. Police ended up giving him a ticket.
It’s not illegal for armless individuals to drive in the United States just so long as they have certain accommodations. A vlogger who goes by the moniker Tisha UnArmed shared those accommodations on YouTube in a video that has been watched more than 5 million times.
They include a steering-wheel knob, a special computer that activates her vehicle’s turn signals and horn, headrest buttons and a left-foot gas pedal. The Daily Mail reported that Tisha was also born with a deformed right foot.
Physicians initially wanted to amputate that leg, but her mother intervened.
“My mum was like, ‘What, are you kidding me? She has no arms and you want to cut her right leg off? That’s not right. She’s only going to have one limb.’”
It’s a good thing they didn’t because Tisha manages incredibly well despite her physical challenges. In addition to driving, she can eat with chopsticks, cook, draw and paint.
She also lives alone, taking care of all of her own needs. She explained that her vlogging started as a silly hobby.
“My experience of YouTube has been completely awesome, it’s not anything that I expected at all,” she said. “You can’t sit at home, and you can’t be like, ‘I don’t have any arms, I’m going to sit at home and do nothing for the rest of my life.’”
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