What's your excuse?

So often we hear of people talk about the trials of parenting a "strong-willed child." But what if that "strong will" meant that he or she did something no one ever imagined was possible? I think this strong-willed kid is incredible:

Adam Bender, 8, is one of several kids who plays catcher in Southeastern’s rookie league at Veterans Park. What makes Adam stand out is that he plays one of the toughest positions on the field with only one leg. Because of cancer, he had his left leg amputated when he was one. Adam doesn’t use a prosthesis, and only uses crutches when he reaches base for the Astros.

If you could place yourself in the middle of this story, who would you be? The Disabled boy? The Coach? The Parents? The teammates? The skeptics who think he should sit on the sidelines?

I love the way his coach gets down to his level and says: "You can do it." I also love the last line of the newspaper article, another quote from his coach:

"The lesson he teaches is that you need to let talented people with great heart get out there and do their thing," Rector said. "There's no such thing as an insurmountable obstacle for Adam. He's a winner."

It just goes to show the power of words and affirmation in a child's life. So many kids grow up hearing words of disapproval from their parents and siblings. As a result they believe they are weird, ugly, lame, fat, dumb unpopular, etc. and they spend 18 years of their life floundering... trying to figure out who they really are. On the other hand, a one-legged 8 year old hears: "You're a winner." "You can do it." "I'm proud of you." and he goes out and defies the odds.

I heard a rumor that his story will be retold on ESPN (they do a great job with stories like this), and you can read the rest of the Kentucky Herald-Ledger article here.

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