Amy Purdy, the Team Toyota brand ambassador who gave out the Toyota Standing O-Vation award at the Atlanta stop of Oprah’s Life You Want Tour is in incredible athlete and equally amazing person. You may have seen her on Dancing with the Stars or the Sochi Paralympics. Her story is both touching and motivating. She lost both legs when she was a teen due to bacterial meningitis. Prior to losing her legs, she was told she would no longer to be able to snowboard, a sport she loved. She then decided that she would indeed snowboard again and was determined to not miss a season. She even built her own prosthesis to fit the snowboard. Amy is a true testament to deciding what you want, no matter what, and going after it.
It was an absolute pleasure spending a few minutes with Amy getting to know her a bit better backstage after the award was presented to Ashley Hicks and Toni Carey, the founders of Black Girls RUN!, an Atlanta-based national running group created to combat obesity among women in the African-American community.
I asked her what she tells women who are facing hard times and feel helpless she said that, “When you are passionate about something and you work your ass off, you can accomplish anything. It’s amazing what you can accomplish and it doesn’t matter what your circumstances are. My circumstances have allowed me to accomplish more then I could have imagined.” Amy added, “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.” When Amy was told that she couldn’t snowboard with prosthetics, instead of quitting, she asked, “Why not?” and then figured out how she could find a way to snowboard again.
Imagine what you could accomplish if you had that attitude! Think about Amy’s inspiring message next time you are ready to throw in the towel. Stop complaining and focus that energy into working a little harder, looking at the situation from another perspective and just going for it.