Lance Scranton: Sore feet is no excuse
One of my students’ favorite Friday Stories is about a young man who lost both legs when he was run over by a tractor-trailer at the tender age of 6 years old. His story progresses through his 11th year when he was the subject of a former teacher’s Friday Story about how, “I once complained about sore feet, until I met a man with no legs.”
The story has been told for years by Craig Conrad when he was a teacher at Moffat County High School and then published as one of the many chapters in his, “Unstoppable: Inspiring Lessons for the Unstoppable You.”
The story has become one of my favorites and I tell the story as our High School Senior’s Final Friday Story of the year. The young man with no legs has gone on to complete marathons, play football, wrestle (a state runner-up in high school), and recently turned his attention to Spartan races. His story captures the raw emotions of a parent who must decide if she will enable her son because she feels sorry for him or treat him as though he has boundless potential.
Soon after his release from the hospital a young Kacey McCallister asks his mom for a drink and she wants to tell him what every good parent would tell her son or daughter, “you have two legs — go get it yourself!”
But Kacey didn’t have two legs and, years later, he credits his mother’s tough love when he goes around the country telling kids about his success in overcoming obstacles. Seniors in my class watch his visit to our very own Moffat County High School and then his inspirational video entitled “Rise Up” where he includes the statement that most obstacles we put in front of ourselves can be overcome if we just figure out a way to rise up and push forward.
Springtime in high school is a veritable petri dish of excuse-making by high school students. Their “sore feet” can get the best of them as they constantly make excuses about why they just can’t get things done and how it is so busy, and everyone wants them to do something, and graduation is so stressful, and school is just too hard. That’s why Kacey’s story is so powerful and Seniors hear it first as I try to help them understand that Kacey would have done anything to be in their shoes right now.
But guess what — he doesn’t need shoes because he has no legs!
So I implore seniors to take a deep breath and enjoy what has been bestowed upon them by their hard work, determination, and a host of people who support them and want to celebrate and share in their success. Complaining about sore feet is easy this time of year (or anytime, I guess) and when it’s you who feels like there is too much and you’re overwhelmed, remember Kacey and turn your complaining into getting things done, savoring the celebrations, and capturing the spirit of enjoying the hard work that makes the things we dream about worthwhile!
Congratulations, graduating class of 2019!
Stories enrich our lives. We tell them, listen to them, read them, repeat them, write them, watch them on TV, enjoy them in theaters. Stories teach us, entertain us, make us laugh, ease our social situations, and cement our friendships.