Earlier today, I had a chance to share with some friends an article about Oscar Pistorious, the double amputee Olympian who broke through barriers by just going to the games this summer.
I thought the article was heartwarming because it talked about Oscar taking some time to run with a 5 year old double amputee from a smallish town in England. Now, granted, the fact that an Olympian would take his time (with events still to run, no less) and share it with a 5 year old is pretty awesome. Although, come to think of it…Olympians as a general rule are pretty humble (Usain Bolt notwithstanding) and generally nice people.
But, one of my friends pointed out to me that Oscar broke all sorts of other barriers down regarding appearances – his dream was important to him than how he looked to some of the smaller minds around him. In the past, most prosthetic devices were designed to look as natural as possible, trying to make the amputee more comfortable in public. (You know, it occurs to me right this second that it’s probably always been about making US more comfortable than the amputees.)
But the standard prosthetic was simply not going to work for Oscar, so he worked with a group that could fabricate carbon fiber composite lower legs that look more like springs of sorts than legs. I imagine the first time Oscar walked down the streets in South Africa, he caused quite a stir with his “legs” but over time, I imagine everyone got used to them.
And the more I think of Oscar Pistorious, the more inspired I get to pursue my dreams, no matter the circumstances and with no concern for how things look to the outside world. It’s the inside world that matters, I’m starting to learn (better late than never to learn this).
Thanks to Oscar for being such an inspiration and thanks to my friend for helping me to realize just how much an inspiration he is.