Kyle Maynard: A Man With Guts

Marco YanitelliAnalyst IMay 9, 2009

HOLLYWOOD - JULY 14:  Wrestler Kyle Maynard attends the 12th Annual ESPY Awards held at the Kodak Theatre on July 14, 2004 in Hollywood, California.  This year's ESPY's will air Sunday, July 16th on ESPN beginning 9 PM EST/6 PM EST.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

And not much else.

Allow me to explain…

When I first heard this story, I didn’t believe it. Then I thought “okay, he’s like that pitcher for the Yankees who had one hand and still got a no-hitter.“

When I finally investigated this for myself, I was simply stunned.

Originally I was thinking of doing an article on some of the stranger MMA fighters like Giant Silva or Zulu. Then I found this guy.

In case you don’t know, Kyle is a multiple amputee. By multiple I mean he doesn’t have complete arms or legs. He is practically only a Torso. Thus my above statement, which is pretty distasteful now that I think about it, heh.

Now before you say “okay, this is utter crap,” let me tell you it's absolutely true and an amazing story. It shows in the most extreme way possible what I have always believed; If you dream, you can do. Everyone dreams, but not everyone does.

Allow me to extrapolate.

Kyle is currently 23 years old, and has some amazing accomplishments under his belt. For example he was an active competitor in the Georgia State High School Wrestling Circuit. He has made it to the Championship several times. Unreal.

I don’t know how many of you guys/gals have been to GA, but let me tell you the High Schools are MASSIVE. I once competed in the GA state finals (discus) against a guy named Hiawatha Berry (became a AZ Rattlesnake arena football player). This guy came from a school with almost 40,000 students.

Once you understand the reality of that statement you will see that this Kyle guy must be one of the most amazing people to ever live. Okay, I don’t know if I’m laying too many accolades on the guy, but so the F what? Did I mention he has no real arms or legs?

Okay, to the stats. Anyone can get their butt kicked over and over. That doesn’t really require skill or body parts, right?

Get this: he was 35-16 in his HS career.

He is currently a motivational speaker now (d'oh) and has even received an ESPY for being the one of the greatest Disabled Athletes To Ever Live (That’s an ESPN yearly given award).

Okay. Apparently this guy was a Georgia Bulldog studying Broadcasting. He graduated in 2008.

He…trained in MMA for over a year. Wait. What did I just say??? C'mon man, MMA? A Congenital Amputee? it’s a joke, right?

Listen for a moment while I dump some wisdom on you….

We complain we don’t have enough money. We complain that we are old or out of shape. We complain about our lives, our bosses, our spouses, even our children sometimes. We doubt ourselves in the majority.

We take comfort in material goods, but most people aren’t willing to get hit in the face to achieve that.

This guy proves, if anything, that there are NO excuses. If you have a dream, DO IT! What do any of us really have to lose by just going hog-wild to achieve every dream we have ever had? We are all gonna die anyway, right?

Most of us know (as long as you make it to at least 30) that how long you live is not the important thing; it's what you do that matters. Dream it. Do it.

Kyle actually got into a cage at Auburn Fight Night at the Auburn Covered Arena in Auburn, Ala., on April 25, 2009 (ref. Wikipedia).*

He lost in a 30-27 decision to Bryan Fry. Does it matter? I lost my first fight 30-27 also. I am ashamed to compare myself: nor do I believe almost any other fighter, to this guy.

How do you not get KO’d when you have stubs for arms and legs? It is a bad time for a joke, I know, but it wasn’t exactly a stand-up fight.

Er…sorry for that.

Honestly, I have a lot of respect for this dude. How could you not? Normally I shy away from “wow this special guy did this”-type articles, but this is just beyond beyond.

Ok so he lost. Hasn’t fought since. Probably won't fight again, but he had a dream and did something about it.

Don’t let old age, injury, disability, mental problems, troubled family members, or anything else stop you from getting what you want in life. We all get old. We all die. But we are also all made of Stardust, as the late Carl Sagan once said.

Well this guy really shined.

 

-Marco Yanitelli “The Italian Scallion”

(*Ref quote of date from Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyle_Maynard)