82: Kyle Maynard: No Excuses, Climbing Mountains and Fear

July 31, 2018
00:0000:00

“Know your limits, but never stop trying to break them.”

Kyle Maynard is a motivational speaker, bestselling author, entrepreneur, and ESPY award-winning mixed martial arts athlete, known for becoming the first quadruple amputee to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Aconcagua without the aid of prosthetics.

Oprah Winfrey called Kyle “one of the most inspiring young men you will ever hear about.” Arnold Schwarzenegger described him as “the real deal,” “a champion human,” and “one of the most inspiring people” he’s ever met. Even the great Wayne Gretzky has spoken of Kyle’s “greatness.”

Despite being born with a rare condition known as congenital amputation, that has left him with arms that end at the elbows and legs that end near his knees, he learned early on with the support of his family, to live life independently and without prosthetics. Kyle thrives on physical challenges and following a few rough middle school football seasons; he went on to become a champion wrestler, CrossFit Certified Instructor and gym owner, competitive MMA/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter, world record-setting weightlifter, and skilled mountaineer.

In 2012, Kyle became the first quadruple amputee to climb – actually bearcrawl – the 19,340 feet to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro without the aid of prosthetics. His 10-day ascent was widely covered by the press, followed on social media, and raised money and awareness for wounded veterans as well as Tanzanian schoolchildren. Upon his return, Kyle won his second ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) award for Best Male Athlete with a Disability.

Four years later, he reached the summit of Argentina’s breathtakingly beautiful and sometimes deadly Mount Aconcagua – the highest peak in both the Western and Southern Hemispheres, standing at 22,838 feet. Following that epic summit, Nike featured Kyle in the powerful commercial “Unlimited Will,” which debuted globally during the 2016 Olympics, was viewed by millions around the world – and was part of the series that AdWeek named the most memorable of all commercials during the 2016 Olympics.

Kyle has not let his success be defined by anything or anyone but himself. He has lived his life striving to do more, learn more, push harder, go further—and to inspire others to do the same by sharing his story and living by example. Though he tailors his speeches to his audience, his messages are centered on building a life driven by purpose and meaning, the importance of the undying pursuit of dreams, and the belief that no obstacle is too great and nothing in their lives can keep them from accomplishing their goals.

Follow Kyle Maynard

Web: http://kyle-maynard.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kylemaynard.fanpage/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kylemaynard 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kylemaynard/ 

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Music: Carl Stover Music
Host & Current Production: Meredith Atwood

Copyright 2018, Meredith Atwood, LLC

42: Rob Jones: Double-Amputee & a Month of Marathons

October 13, 2017
00:0000:00

Rob Jones: Double-Amputee Marine is Training to Run 31 Marathons in 31 Days in 31 Cities.

"I grew up on a farm in the small town of Lovettsville, Virginia. I graduated from Loudoun Valley High School in 2003, and from Virginia Tech in 2007.  In my junior year at Virginia Tech, I joined the Marine Corps Reserve as a combat engineer at Bravo Company, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion in Roanoke, VA. In the Marine Corps, combat engineers are responsible for a multitude of disciplines but the primary role that I and my fellow combat engineers undertook was the use of explosives, and the detection of buried IEDs and weapons caches. 

"I deployed to Habbaniyah, Iraq in 2008, and again to Delaram/Sangin, Afghanistan in 2010. During my deployment to Afghanistan while operating as a part of a push into Taliban territory, I was tasked with clearing an area with a high likelihood of containing an IED. It was in this capacity that I was wounded in action by a land mine. The injury resulted in a left knee dis-articulation and a right above knee amputation of my legs. 

"I was taken to National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD for the initial phases of my recovery, which consisted primarily of healing and closing my wounds. I was then transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for the remainder of my rehabilitation. At Walter Reed I was fitted with prosthetics, and worked very hard to learn how to walk with two bionic knees. I also used the time to relearn how to do other things with my new challenge including riding a bicycle, running, and rowing. I took naturally to rowing, and since I am always in search of a challenge that I can use to become better, I decided to train for the 2012 Paralympics.

"After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in December, 2011, I immediately moved to Florida to train with my rowing partner, Oksana. We spent five months there, and during that time period won the trunk and arms mixed double sculls trial race held by USRowing to become the USRowing national team for our boat class, and also won the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta in Belgrade to qualify for the Paralympics. We then moved to Charlottesville, Virginia to continue training until the Paralympics in September, 2012. Our hard work paid off for us as we brought home a bronze medal in our event. I continued in the sport of rowing through the 2013 season, where my partner and I placed 4th in the 2013 World Rowing Championships.  

"On October 14, 2013 I began a solo supported bike ride across America which started in Bar Harbor, Maine, and ended in Camp Pendleton, California.  The ride was 5,180 miles long and completed on April 13, 2014, a total of 181 days after it began.  Over the course of the ride, along with my team, I raised $126,000 for the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, and Ride 2 Recovery, three charities which aid wounded veterans.

"Between Fall 2014, and Summer 2016, I trained in the sport of triathlon with the intention to compete in the 2016 Paralympic Games.  I saw considerable personal improvement, but was unable to qualify.

"Currently I am planning to complete a month long back to back marathon challenge in which I will run 31 marathons in 31 days in 31 different major cities, once again raising awareness and funds for wounded veteran charities.

Website: http://www.robjonesjourney.com/monthofmarathons 
The Month of Marathons: http://www.robjonesjourney.com/mission/ 

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Producer: Carl Stover Music
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Copyright 2017, Meredith Atwood, LLC