Even I begin to wonder how it is that I get to witness so many incredible things. I question why so many wonderful people come into my life so often leaving me full of hope and inspiration.
We went one last time to the fair on Friday. As we walked one last time around the fairgrounds, we could have stopped a hundred places along the way to look at crafts, have something to eat, do a little shopping, or watch the free entertainment. We could have decided to sit for awhile just to watch people go by.
We didn’t and I’m glad.
We were walking along the midway where all the games and rides were located. Suddenly, I looked up to see a man working his way up the rock climb. These free standing walls have small ledges and rocks sticking out allowing the skilled or foolish among us to climb to the top. If you make it, you can push the button and buzz the world in celebration.
I’ve seen it before, but this was different. This climber had one leg.
He had just started. A crowd was gathering to watch him. There are three skill levels to choose from. He had chosen the medium challenge. The levels are determined by how far apart the ledges are, how far you have to reach to rise above the last place you were standing.
Each participant is securely harnessed with a pulley system to prevent them from falling to the ground.
As if the rides had come to a halt and the barkers stopped trying to entice the passersby to lose their money at a game of chance, I couldn’t hear a thing but this man’s heavy breathing and grunts with each step that he took.
If wanting could make him succeed at this, there was certainly enough of us wanting him to make it.
Suddenly to his left, a young boy, around eight years old, started his own climb. In stark contrast to this middle aged man, this fearless, unintimidated boy quickly moved up to the top.
“Buzzzzzzz!” He celebrated as he descended to the open arms of his proud parents.
Now nearing his goal, this incredible man paused. I imagined the pain and anguish he was experiencing at that moment. This effort would strain the muscles of anyone let alone a man who was pushing just three limbs to the maximum.
Finally within six inches of the buzzer, he made one gallant effort to let one hand go, while balancing on one leg.
Like a slow motion scene in a movie we all gasped at the same time as he came with inches of ringing the bell but fell ever so slowly backwards as the harness he was wearing gently lowered him to the ground.
He was exhausted. You could see the disappointment on his face. But he did not fail. I couldn’t understand why he would think he did. I heard it, I swear I heard it. The buzzer rang sweet and clear in my head and throughout all of heaven.
Everything he did made him a winner. The fact that he thought he could do this, the reality that he began, the moment that he started and the undeniable truth that he made it to the top on one leg made him the biggest winner of them all.
Everyone before him and everyone after him would have accomplished a great fete by doing what any healthy able bodied man or woman could do.
But he did it on one leg!
Now, my friend, what grand and glorious things can you accomplish with all you have to offer the challenge?
“The man with one leg faced his mountain. I watched as he started to climb If he could pull through it, I know you could do it He did it one step at a time.”
“I believe in you!” Bob Perks [email protected] Copyright (c) 2003, Bob Perks. I encourage you to share my stories with your friends but, when copying I ask that you keep my name and contact information attached along with this notice. Use of this story for commercial purposes is prohibited without direct permission from the author.