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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A True Story About A Cyclist

Take a look at the video below.  Its shows a cyclist on a stationary trainer.

The cyclist's name is Damian.  He is competitive cyclist who has finished first at the Coppa 8 de Marzo Time Trial. He also won the silver medal at the Tour of Havana de Este, and the bronze medal at the Criterium de Havana against some of the best athletes in his region. This is what he looks like.

Damian Lopex Alphonso
A native of Cuba, Damian was electrocuted at age 13 with 13,000 volts of electricity when he tried to retrieve his kite which had landed on some power lines.  He spent 52 days on life support and has had to endure many surgeries which enabled him to survive.  Now aged 34, he has taught himself to become a competitive cyclist racing against non-disabled competitors by resting the stumps of his arms against the handlebars.

It was at the 2002 Pan American championships in Cuba when he was noticed by Tracy Lea a fellow cyclist and Team Fuji Ambassador.  You can read the rest of the story here.  If you wish, you can donate to cover some of Damian's expenses by emailing

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It would be so easy to grumble that life has not dealt us a fair hand.  It is easy to make excuses why we can't workout regularly or get into shape, change our diet or improve our commitment to fitness.  When we read a story like Damian's -- someone who overcomes their disability to compete with "normal" people it kind of puts everything in perspective doesn't it?  Stories like Damian's shame us by revealing that it is our minds which are weak, not our bodies.

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Life doesn't owe us anything. Life isn't fair.

We get out of life, what we put into life. No one has ever become great by making excuses.

We are only "disabled" as much as we think we are.

True greatness is not visible to the naked eye.

Inside each of us is a power of great beauty and triumph if we only learn to set it free.

Dare to be great.

Dare to be.


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