Today I watched Rising Phoenix on Netflix, a documentary about the Paralympics.  It’s filled with tales of athletes overcoming tragedy and physical limitations such as the 3 year old boy who had his limbs chopped off by a machete and watched his family murdered during the Burundi genocide or the 11 year old girl who lost her limbs and was severely disfigured by meningitis.  It sounds like it should be a depressing documentary but it is anything but.  Because these tremendous athletes refuse to be defined by their past or their perceived limitations, it is an inspiring tale of human triumph!

Many years ago when I was a member of the Langley Rotary Club one of our guest speakers was a young equestrian.  She was a local woman who had been very successful competing on the world stage representing Canada.  She was also a paraplegic.  But despite this, she chose to compete against able-bodied athletes because that was the level she was at.  She was very upbeat and shared many fun stories about competing around the world.  She shared funny tales about competing upon foreign horses.  Turns out that the bond between horse and rider is a critical element for success but that because many of the top competitions are held in Europe, she and other North American riders were often required to compete riding unfamiliar horses.  She appreciated the many opportunities to compete overseas afforded her by her job at Royal Bank which gave her enough schedule flexibility to pursue her Olympic dreams.  Here was an athlete living her dream and loving it.  Nothing was holding her back from pursuing her passion, the world for her was full of opportunity.

That’s why the article that ran in the Langley paper the following week about another local equestrian stood in such stark contrast.  This young Olympic hopeful was not confined to a wheel chair but nevertheless felt her dreams were being crushed under the burdens of competition.  She lamented the lack of financial support for riders and how being required to hold a full time job detracted from her training and left her short time and money.  Though able-bodied, she found the financial and time limitations were forcing her to give up on the sport that she loved.  She complained about the unfairness of it all.

Here were two women of similar age, with identical dreams, living in the same city and participating in the same sport but each had a very different outlook on life.  The one without the use of her legs, the one you and I would consider “less-able” seemed full of opportunity and free of limitations.  The one with healthy, functioning legs on the other hand saw nothing but limitations proving that able-bodied is less important than able-minded.

My take away was that the only limitations that really matter are the ones that we say matter.  Some people are unstoppable not because they have more talent or opportunities but because they choose to be unstoppable.  Other people can be given every advantage and still find themselves overwhelmed by the obstacles before them.

So here’s the question: Which type of person are you going to be?

Monday Make Up Day

1) Thruster-Shuttle Run-C2B
10 Rounds
In 1 minute:
3 Thrusters @185#
60 m Shuttle Run
Max Reps C2B Pull Ups
Rest 2 minutes

Sub: 8 Bar over burpees can sub for shuttle run

Score = total C2B pull ups completed in 10 rounds, RX requires minimum 1 C2B per round

2) Weighted Ring Dip


Score = Total Volume

3) DT

5 Rounds for Time:
155 pound Deadlift, 12 reps
155 pound Hang power clean, 9 reps
155 pound Push jerk, 6 reps

4) OS Reset #9
1 min Belly Breathing Lying On Back Hugging Knees
30 sec Head Nods On Knees And Forearms

30 sec Head Rotations On Knees And Forearms1 min Upper-Body Half Rolls
1 min Lower-Body Half Rolls

5 mins
30 Dead Bugs
10 Rocking Chairs

5 mins
10 Rocking On Knees And Forearms
10 Cross Crawls In Push Up Position

4 Rounds
1 min Forward/Backward Hands And Knees Crawling
1 min Forward/Backward Leopard Crawling

5) Outdoor Option
3 Rounds:
800m Run
400m DB Farmer’s Carry @35/50#