You should see Riley Rhoden play baseball. This Texas kid is something else. His parents say, even at age six Riley was making plays most grown men have problems with. Say, for instance, this grown man. He can catch line drives, force double plays, and hit like a gorilla.
Riley has one arm.
How about Florida’s own Carson Pickett? This girl is one of the best Soccer players you’ll ever see. That’s not an opinion. This quick-stepping champ zipped through small ball, high-school ball, then college ball. When she played for FSU, critics hailed Carson as the greatest left-sided field player the sport’s ever known. She’s a full-blown professional now. And she can lift more than you can hoist with a hydraulic wench.
Carson has one arm.
Zach Hodskins is a nice-looking, six-foot-four college powerhouse. He’s ranked as one of the greatest high-school basketball players in Georgia. When he played for Milton High, he mopped the floor with his opponents. This kid’s ninety percent heart, and fifty percent jump. His first college-career basket at University of Florida was a shot heard round the world. The audience nearly tore the bleachers apart. And I think you know what I’m about to say.
Zach Hodskins has one arm.
Hodskins’ daddy says, “When he was young, we just knew… this kid can do anything.”
Listen, it’s not just Zach, Carson, or Rylie. It’s one-armed Little League pitcher, Aidan Duncan. Champion swimmer without legs, Jessica Long. It’s Billy Roderick, a fourth-grader I knew, with only one eye. It’s Rachel Boreman, whose umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, impeding her brain development—Doctor Boreman, now.
It’s Mary Wallace, a partial deaf-mute, who composes symphonies on her computer. It’s Esteban, a one-handed tomato-picker from Cottondale, Alabama, who bought my old lawn mower. It’s Felicia Cooper, a housewife who lost both breasts last year to cancer. It’s Mister Lonnie, still in rehab after his stroke, finally able to write his name again.
I don’t give a damn who you are, or what some doctor told you. And neither should you. Because you have nothing to be afraid of. After all, the worst thing that could ever happen to anyone is a carefree life. You’ve got a lot of people on your side.
I just told you some of their names.
By God, you can do it.