Scranton Column: Sore feet?
One of my favorite Friday Stories (and usually the final story of the year in each of my high school classes) is Craig Conrad’s interaction with Casey McCallister. Casey was a young boy from Utah who lost both legs when he was run over by a semi-truck when he was just 6 years old. The story is featured in Craig’s UNSTOPPABLE YOU book and the Title of the story is, “I Once Complained of Sore Feet, Until I met a Man with No Legs.”
Casey is a grown man now, has competed in Spartan Races, and is a motivational speaker. Casey could have made all kinds of excuses not to succeed but he decided that not having legs wasn’t going to define him. He played sports in high school and once beat a Moffat County High School wrestler the same year that he was crowned a Utah High School State Champion in his weight class.
Casey traveled to Craig, Colorado a few years back and introduced his wife to our packed high school auditorium. He now has 4 children and fixes up & flips houses when he isn’t on the road speaking to kids of all ages and is part of the Google series which brings in speakers to talk to employees.
Casey has done well for himself but he is the first to tell anyone who will listen that it was because his parents refused to let him become a victim when they brought him home after the accident. When kids ask for something, Moms and Dads are famous for saying, “you got two legs – go get it yourself.” But what do you say to your seven year old son who has no legs? Casey’s Mom had the courage to say the same and the rest is history.
We have all been through a pretty tough school year, teachers, students, administrators, and support staff of all types. Our community has struggled through a difficult year of trying to figure out how to keep each other safe while balancing our freedoms and responsibilities. We could sit back and talk about our sore feet, claim victim status, how we need all kinds of help, and we could even make excuses for not being the kind of people that we should expect each other to be as we move forward post-pandemic.
But as I relate the story to my students, I always finish by saying that each and every one of them has something to offer this world and it would be a shame if sorry excuses held them back from going out and contributing to making our country a better place. After COVID and all that it brought with it; we could complain about sore feet but I’d rather we followed the example of a man with no legs!
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