Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hero of the Week: Kyle Maynard

This past weekend in my travels I met two things. One was a TV, something that I do not own. The other was Kyle Maynard. I saw a special on ESPN about this young man. Kyle Maynard is a congenital amputee, which means he was born without arms or legs. To boot he has no elbows or knees. So I guess you could say if we threw him in the middle of the ocean we could call him Bob right?
Wrong. The first part of the documentary details how the poor guy was born without arms or legs. But he doesn’t want us to feel sorry for him. As a kid he played football and began to wrestle. At first he constantly got beat wrestling. I mean, after all, he has no arms or legs. His father spoke about how they had goals for the guy like to win a match. As Kyle began to lose and struggle more, those goals went from winning to making an effort not to get pinned. However soon the anger began to rise up in Kyle and this muscular trunk of a lad began to win the matches. All these opponents began to know that Stubby McGee was a force to be reckoned with, and he got the starting spot on his high school’s wrestling team. I was glad it happened for the guy watching it. After all, he was working his heart out.
During the special they spoke about Kyle’s quest to fight in the MMA. They kept denying him saying it was too dangerous and that he would get killed. However, Kyle was training pretty hard. Part of me wanted to laugh as he ran around the gym looking like a hamster but the other part of me was rooting for the dude. When he got permission to fight and lost I was heart broken, because after all he had worked so hard and was so talented as a wrestler and had he closed on his opponent more maybe he could have won the fight. However there will be other fights. This is only the beginning of great things for Kyle Maynard.
Watching Kyle Maynard and hearing him speak, it is not hard to fall in love with him. The guy was born with a visible disadvantage but doesn’t make any excuses. He doesn’t give up when he can’t do something right away but rather adapts. When he falls down he only gets back up to work harder. Not to mention Kyle has never once in the evidence that I’ve seen felt sorry for himself or tried to elicit sympathy from others. Rather, he works with what he has and as a result won the World’s Strongest Teen Contest a few years ago. Because he makes no excuses Kyle lives a full productive life that includes not only a career as a wrestler and fighter but as a gym owner of No Excuses Gym, a motivational speaker, author, and male model. In addition Kyle also works with veterans from Iraq who have lost limbs. Not to mention he has a lot of friends who don’t see him as disabled, and a lot of fellow fighters who see him as a fierce opponent. And he has a smoking hot girlfriend.
My friend Joey Sanders once said it best. “In this world we have a strike or two against us so we have to work with it.” Kyle Maynard isn’t just doing the best he can with what he has. He is doing better than good. All and all, it is working out for him.
Being a champion in more ways than one, he is easily my winner of the week. All do respect, I would never call him Bob or Stubby McGee to his face. Because rest assured he could probably kick my ass on the mat or at the gym.