By Amy Purdy
I’ll begin with a confession: I’ve never watched an episode of Dancing with the Stars, and, until I found this book, I’d not heard of Amy Purdy. But I always look for stories of inspiring people, people who overcome obstacles to accomplish great things. I bought this book knowing nothing more about it than the description on Amazon, and I’m glad I did.
Amy Purdy writes:
“We don’t always get to decide which course we go down or know which mountains we’ll face. Yet we always have the most important choice there is: whether to resist, or to give ourselves over to the twists and turns of the terrain.”
The wisdom in that quote is more poignant considering the mountains Ms. Purdy has faced, certainly not ones she would have chosen. But she turned her losses and her trials into opportunities to become a great athlete and person, and to inspire people all over the world.
The author writes of her nearly fatal meningitis, of her loss of both feet, of her kidney transplant, and of her many other ‘mountains,’ as opportunities. She doesn’t want any sympathy; she proves that she doesn’t need it. From re-learning to walk, to winning an Olympic bronze medal in snowboarding, she is always strong and determined.
Ms. Purdy is not the only hero in the story. Throughout, she gives credit to the people who loved and helped her. Her parents and sister, for instance, who never left her bedside during the weeks she spent in the hospital. Amy’s mother and father, and their unconditional love, devotion, and willingness to sacrifice for their children, are examples of the kind of parent we all should want and hope to be.
Ms. Purdy uses her accomplishments to help and inspire others, whether it’s by traveling to South Africa to give shoes to village children, creating opportunities for other athletes, or writing this book:
“I didn’t write this book because I want you to say, ‘Wow, look at what that girl overcame….’ I’m sharing my story because I want you to see what’s possible in your own life. Right here. Right now.”
I’m grateful to have read On My Own Two Feet at the start of this new year. It makes me want to work harder, show more love, and be more thankful for my life and everyone in it.