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Who Says I Can't?!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Often I have been encouraged by accounts of individuals who have overcome profound challenges and succeeded at their goals ANYWAY.

"Jothy Rosenberg is the author of the memoir "Who Says I Can't?" who lost a leg at age 16. He is a serial entrepreneur in the high-tech industry, has written three technical books, is an extreme athlete in skiing, biking and open water swimming and is about to do his 20th Alcatraz swim across San Francisco Bay. He has a series "Who Says I Can't?" on YouTube."

I was gripped by a column he wrote concerning those who have lost limbs in the Boston Marathon bombing. My struggles IN NO WAY compare to that loss, to that trauma, to that heavy trial. Nonetheless I can be uplifted and energized by Mr. Rosenberg's accomplishments and his analysis of the process of building a full, active life. Here is the original article:

Below is my paraphrase, ALTERED to galvanize myself on this journey to health:

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Building back lost self-esteem is a hard challenge for an obese person, but it is a crucially important one. How does one do it? I found that enjoyable movement and active recreation is key.

With so many different kinds of sports and recreation, there will be something you can enjoy.
Pick something you like.
Work hard at it.
Work harder than anyone else.
You can't help but get good at it.
That feels good.
That makes you want to work even harder.
You keep getting better and better at it and then others stop saying you are pretty good, considering how heavy you are, and start respecting you.
You've won and your self-esteem rises and takes your happiness up with it.
More self-respect and more fitness accomplishments gradually impacts how heavy I am, too. That's a bonus.

The natural challenge-response we all have in us is what can be the biggest help to a fat girl who goes biking or running or tries some other recreation. It goes like this: "You can't run; you're enormous." Says the fat girl, "Who says I can't?!" and she will be off and running. I'm just not going to fall into the pity tar-pit. If an amputee or a double amputee can overcome, I can, too. In fact, I can do better than I or anyone around me ever thought possible. Like amputees, I can even excel far beyond what I had ever accomplished before my body became unrecognizable, before I became obese.

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The previous paragraphs were taken from Jothy Rosenberg's CNN column; I adapted his sentences to my own less-than-perfect-body struggle, which is order to inspire my own quest. I share this here in case it might help someone else who needs to rise up and say, "Who Says I Can't?!
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