How High Can You Bounce? - Roger Crawford's Message
by Al Siebert, PhD
THRIVEnet Story of the Month - April 1998
Roger Crawford was born with all four limbs deformed. He never thought of himself as handicapped, however. "My preferred term," he says "is inconvenienced."
Roger was born with a thumb extending from his right wrist. His left wrist had a thumb and little finger. One foot had only three toes. His other leg was so malformed it was amputated below the knee when he was five so he could wear an artificial leg.
Was five-year-old Roger distressed by the amputation? Not at all. He says "suddenly I had the agility to walk and run." He says it was turning point in his life.
Roger was raised thinking he could accomplish anything he believed he set out to do. In high school he signed up for the tennis team. He set a school record by winning 47 matches with only six losses and he was voted team captain.
In college he became the first person with a physical challenge affecting two or more limbs to participate in Division I NCAA athletic competitions. Later, in 1984, he carried the Olympic torch in San Francisco on one leg of its journey to Los Angeles.
Roger has a lifetime of experience learning and teaching about resilience. He emphasizes that "the quality of our lives is governed not by outward circumstances, but by the choices we make."
In his book How High Can You Bounce? he lists nine keys to resilience and how to develop them in yourself. Roger's book is a solid, practical, and easy to read. It is an inspirational sharing of lessons learned by someone who had to be resilient from the day he was born.