The London 2012 Games are now over.
They brought us some wonderful moments such as Mo Farah’s look of joy as he crossed the finishing line. Pictures of that have gone viral.
But for me the most amazing story that I have heard lately is that of Spencer West, who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro by hand. The Canadian born climbed 19,341 feet in seven days to reach the summit of Africa’s highest peak.
In the process he raised nearly $750,000 for the charity, “Free The Children”.
West is only 2 ft 7 inches tall because he has no legs – they were both amputated when he was five years old due to a genetic disorder.
“Winning is about heart, not just legs. It’s got to be in the right place”.
Lance Armstrong - World champion cyclist who won the Tour de France seven times.
To accomplish the climb he had to go through Tanzania’s jungles, snowfields and deserts and was accompanied by best friends David Johnson and Alex Meers. Eighty percent of the journey was on his hands, while the remainder was in a specially constructed wheelchair that could handle rocks and mud.
To become an Olympic champion you need to have vision, courage, passion, perseverance, sacrifice and support and Spencer West has those attributes in abundance. His vision is to “redefine the impossible” and he has become an author and motivational speaker with “Free the Children”.
Spencer’s parents were warned that he would never really be a productive member of society but he was determined to prove them wrong. If he can achieve all that, with no legs, then what could we achieve if we put our mind to it?
We can learn from how he did it – “building a team of reciprocal trust and support, creating major change through small steps, and tying goals to social impact.
His advice to people is, “We all have the ability to redefine what is possible in our lives. I think it is really about trying to change your mindset from “Wow, I cannot do these things” to “let us look at what I can do.”
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