If you lack self belief, you can inspire yourself by remembering that you were a child once. As a child, you were imbued with tremendous self belief as you learnt to flip over, crawl, stand up and start walking. You took repeated failures, repeated tumbles and repeated falls in your stride. You were persistent. So become like a child to accomplish whatever you have set your eyes on.
1) The Story of Nishad Singh, a 17-year old asthmatic boy who has finished two 100-mile ultra races. He lives in Silicon Valley, California. Asthma makes any physical exercise a major challenge. Nishad's dedication and perseverance is creditable.
2) Huzefa Mehta: Ironman 2003 describes how he finished the Hawaii Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bicycle ride, 26.2 mile run) despite serious setbacks. Huzefa is a friend in Silicon Valley. An excerpt from his article:
Six weeks before the race, on a training ride on Sierra road with Raminder and Ambarish, I had an accident. I fractured my right collarbone, broke two ribs and suffered a mild concussion. In the subsequent weeks, I struggled to cope with the pain and stress. I drew inspiration from the story of Tyler Hamilton who had just months earlier in the Tour de France 2003 won the most grueling mountain stage while riding with a double-fractured collarbone. I resumed training on a stationary bike. I asked my YMCA lifeguard friends to show me swimming strokes using only the left hand. A month later, to the sounds of the Hawaiian chants and drums, I was off the starting line. I began the swim with one arm in the sling, kept ahead of the swim, bike and run cutoff times and completed the race in the sling. I arrived at the finish line on Ali'i Drive to a cheering crowd an hour before the total cutoff time of 17 hours. I had become an IRONMAN, despite the odds!
Always have firm, positive belief that you can do it!
3) Touching the Void (107 minutes, 2004 — Amazon link) narrates the true story of two mountain climbers who were marooned in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. They got separated. One of the climbers fell into a crevasse, broke his leg and still managed to survive! A gripping movie which showcases the extraordinary strength that lies inside all of us.
4) Mind-Blowing Outdoor Adventures by Disabled has YouTube videos and personal stories of the following individuals:
- Erik Weihenmayer: Climbed Mt Everest, kayaked the Grand Canyon (blind).
- Bill Irwin: Hiked the Appalachian Trail, guided only by his dog (blind).
- Kyle Maynard: Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Aconcagua without the aid of prosthetics (congenital, quadruple amputee).
- Niki Rellon: Hiked the Appalachian Trail after losing one of her legs 16 months earlier due to a climbing accident.
- Enock Glidden: Climbed El Capitan with the help of a crew. He is paralyzed waist down from birth.
- Stacey Kozel: Hiked the Appalachian Trail using specialized equipment for her legs, both of which are paralyzed.
- Christian Haettich: Long distance cyclist. He lost an arm and a leg in a motorbike accident.
- Philippe Croizon: Swam the English Channel. He lost both of his legs and arms in a home accident.