TED Talks often help people look at the world differently, digest small amounts of information on completely unfamiliar topics and even improve their own lives. Among the most powerful and interesting is this 10-minute Tedx Talk by Amy Purdy, who became a professional snowboarder after losing both of her limbs to meningitis.
“How Would You Want Your Story to Go?”
Amy Purdy begins with a compelling opening line and question: “If your life were a book and you were the author, how would you want your story to go?” Purdy found herself asking that question when tragedy threatened to take everything she’d worked so hard for. She shares how she dreamed about being free. Specifically, she wanted to leave Las Vegas and move somewhere with snow.
She did just that. Becoming a massage therapist allowed her to travel and work at the same time. Things didn’t go as planned, however, when Amy contracted meningitis and became so profoundly ill that doctors had to put her on life support. She survived despite the 2% odds that she would die, but the disease caused parts of her body to shut down, including the circulation in her legs. She won the battle, but she lost both her legs below the knees.
How to Move Forward
For Amy, the hard part wasn’t over. She had to learn to walk on painful and clunky prosthetic legs. At this point in her story, it felt like her dream of traveling the world was over.
But her story was far from over. Amy imagined a new life for herself, and with the help of her prosthetics builder, she spent a year designing the perfect pair of legs for snowboarding. Eleven years after her illness, she won two back-to-back World Cup Gold Medals in snowboarding.
What does a story like this mean for me and you? Amy wants the whole world to imagine life beyond limitations. She urges each of us to use our creativity to break through the roadblocks in our lives and achieve big things. Her TED Talk is a push to face the things we’re afraid of and move toward our dreams despite the obstacles.
How do you want your story to go?
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