I just love inspirational stories. Personally, I can't get enough of them. Whether it is the idea of an underdog coming out on top, the seeming impossibility of the task, or that I somehow empathize with any athlete facing great adversity, stories of great difficulty simply draw me in. Stories like Paul Martin's and Jim MacLaren's are just such accounts.
Paul Martin, a five-time one-legged Boston Marathoner, lost his leg in an automobile accident in 1992. It was a few years after this incident when he decided to tackle the formidable obstacle of running marathons, a difficult task even for an able bodied individual.
About his disability and its relationship to the difficulties he faced, Paul said, "Being disabled is not a dark spot for me. I have retained my ability to be everything I've ever wanted to be. It hasn't entered my brain to feel self-pity... Your biggest hurdle (in life) is going to launch you into greatness."
If that doesn't demonstrate an attitude of unbreakable inner will and determination, the kind that helps one rise above impossibilities, I am not sure what does. You see Paul does not envision the loss of his leg as a stopping point to success but rather a nuisance that, when overcome, shows the true potential one has within.
This type of attitude seems commonplace amongst those who have succeeded in the face of such insurmountable odds. Take Jim MacLaren; his is a story of unimaginable courage,
desire, and will. So much so that when I think back about the supposed impossibility of what I accomplished as an athlete in high school, it pales in comparison.
If the equivalent of my achievement were measured as one grain of sand, Jim's story would be equal to a whole beach. It is one of the most amazing stories I have ever come across and is one I take much time referencing during my inspirational speaking engagements I give to athletes, coaches, and parents.
Watch, listen, and learn, and by the time you finish the video below, and reference the information I detailed regarding Paul Martin at the beginning of this piece, the words It Can't Be Done will hold absolutely no meaning.
A higher quality and better depiction of Jim's Story is located on his website at: JimMacLaren.com
I Strongly Encourage You To Listen To Jim Speak At The Above Link
Additionally, Paul Martin's new book "Drinking From My Leg: Lessons from a Blistered Optimist" will launch on June 23. Pre-order now at the link above and receive a signed copy of "One Man's Leg" for $5, shipping included.