February 25, 2011
I often speak about using adversity as a fuel to create greatness. There are many examples of this that I describe in my book, The Adversity Advantage, but I'd like to share yet one more. My friend and kayak instructor, Chris Wiegand, recently started teaching a new student how to kayak. Why is that remarkable? Well five years ago, Mark Mathers was a healthy college student and martial arts instructor--very fit, very active. One day, he woke up with a sore throat and feeling a little nauseous. A few days later, he was on life support in the hospital clinging to life as he and his doctors battled a deadly form of meningitis, called meningococcemia. The infection quickly spread through Mark's body and the only hope of saving him was to amputate both of his arms above the elbows, one leg above the knee and one leg just below the knee. Most people would let such a devastating outcome crush them. That would be the easy thing to do. But Mark is taking on the adversities life has thrown at him and charging into the storm. Chris is convinced that he can teach Mark to roll his kayak so don't be surprised if you see them out on the river this summer running whitewater! Here's a video of Mark in one of his first pool sessions at the Golden Rec Center: To learn more about Chris Wiegand and some of the remarkable things he and others are doing, visit the Sportainability web site.