This weekend, while helping my Aunt (Very)Vera out again, I had the pleasure of meeting Kyle Maynard. He was shopping with a friend and I recognized him from a news story.
Kyle isn't just a fellow Georgian and University of Georgia alum, he's a dude with an inspirational story. As if being an athlete isn't hard enough, Kyle has been a winning athlete in high school and (club) college wrestling... with no arms and no legs.
Kyle was born with a congenital defect that led to him not having any elbows or knees. While many people would let this get them down, Kyle has managed to not just led an average life, but an extraordinary one. He's regularly on the speaker's circuit, encouraging others to be the best they can be no matter what the circumstances. And boy would he know about beating the odds! This blog/article says his senior year record was 35-16. Incredible.
In our brief conversation, I told Kyle about something that you all may be interested in, too. I told him about another news piece I'd seen about a guy born with no legs who's made a project out of photographing people's reactions to him. He rolls around on a skateboard and snaps photos from below of others he approaches. The reactions to range from smiles and admiration to shock, dismay and discomfort. To add an additional level of interest to his photography project, Kevin Connolly traveled to several foreign countries to see how the reactions differ there. The result is a moving, interesting and brilliant series of photographs that Connolly describes as "15 Countries, 31 Cities, 32,000 photos, One Stare" on his site. Check out Kevin (another incredibly inspirational person) and his photography project here: http://www.therollingexhibition.com/