There is truly no dearth of inspirational men and women in this world. Recently I came across the story of Alan Kempster, the man who rides his bike with only one leg and one arm. Not much is available about him on the internet. I was surprised to see there isn’t even a Wikipedia entry on him. Yet, I studied the available sources to learn about his journey so far. Hopefully, his biography will be updated with further details soon.
Alan met with an accident (hit by a drunken truck driver) while riding his bike in the 90s. Rather than giving up and accepting the “fate” as it was, he rose up to the challenge and learned to ride with disability. He also took to water-skiing (picture below). He rigged his bike to switch the throttle to the left and asked to be allowed to participate in the local racing competition. Initially, his request was taken frivolously. But he convinced the administrators and ended up winning the very first race.
Reminds me of a quote by Jaggi Vasudev (of Isha Foundation) I read some years ago:
“Nobody’s miserable because of a disability. Having one hand less won’t make you miserable. It is just that everybody has two hands, you have only one, that makes you miserable. Misery is caused by YOU, only by you. Isn’t it?” – Jaggi Vasudev
Although Alan may not have read these words, he personified them in his life. We are only as miserable as we think ourselves to be.
Watch the 4.5 min video (containing his interview) below. It’s titled Left Side Story. Guaranteed inspiration!