Friday, October 30, 2009

A Triathlete Amputee Muses About Missing an Arm, but Not Courage

Triathlete, published author on leadership and management development, and mother of quadruplets, twins and three other children, never leaves the house without lipstick in her purse. She's always prepared and presentable, no matter what. In Eighth grade her mother told her that she needed all the help she could get given that she was born with a congenital amputation of her left arm.

"That was a big of a grab for me," says Myers. "My reaction was to get really small and invisible. But part of me was curious. When my mother asked me to wear lipstick and light make up she said, 'This is not fair but people will judge you by what you wear and how you look. Never get fat. Always be healthy looking. Take care of your hair.'"

Myers' mother was a prestigious banker's wife who entertained frequently. Although she had twelve children she didn't look like a "drudge housewife". The house was always neat and tidy. Her hair was done, her clothes were clean, ironed, and pressed. She had a motto: Always be dressed for company.

This is a script that has played in Myers' head since the day her mother first schooled her on how she needed to present herself to the world. But today Myers has a different take on it. "It's the same script," she says , "I just have a new story. Now I see it as an invitation to always be ready, to extend for what you want, for what's needed. It's a lesson to be ready for anything." That anything can mean stares at the yoga studio and strangers boldly asking, "How are you going to do downward facing dog?"

So Myers shows them and asks if they have suggestions. "At first I didn't know whether I should try to explain or just demonstrate. I allow people to breathe around their own stories." When her yoga class recently undertook handstands, Myers had some moments of confrontation with herself.

Click here to read the complete article.

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