Kyle Maynard is a motivational speaker, award-winning athlete, and best-selling author. He also has a disability. Maynard was born on March 24, 1986, with a rare condition called congenital amputation. He was born with arms that end at the elbows and legs that end near the knees. His parents made a decision early on to give their child as much independence as possible. They wanted him to develop skills to work with his disability and accomplish everything he wanted to achieve.
Kyle Maynard loved playing sports throughout his childhood, and he got involved in a wrestling team when he was a middle school student. In his first year of wrestling, he lost every match. But Maynard stuck with the sport. In his senior year of high school, Maynard won 36 matches and made it to the state championships! He also began weightlifting this same year. By early 2009, he was able to lift 420 pounds with the assistance of leather straps and chains attached to his arms.
More recently, Kyle Maynard took one of his biggest challenges yet: climbing the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. He trained for many months by climbing smaller mountains. His team of climbers consisted of war veterans with injuries and other disabilities. The purpose of the climb was to raise awareness for wounded American war veterans. The mission also donated $25,000 worth of medical supplies to the Mwereni Integrated School for the Blind in Tanzania. In just 10 days, Maynard became the first quadruple amputee to climb Mount Kilimanjaro without the help of artificial arms or legs.
Maynard believes excuses should not stop any person from living a full life. And he clearly lives by his “no excuses” philosophy, too. Maynard speaks about his many experiences to people of all ages all across the world. His book, No Excuses, became a New York Times Bestseller in 2005. He wrote about his wrestling experience and how he had overcome difficulties in his life.
What can you learn from Kyle Maynard’s journey?