My memory fails me. I can’t remember the exact time but I’m sure it was the evening of 2nd Sept as I cross the street in front of Salt Lake Convention Centre, I saw Kyle Maynard jogging on the opposite side of the road.

I was intrigued. My curiosity grew stronger as I watched him from afar peddling the wheelchair with his stubbed arms. If I were not wearing the heels I wore, I would have ran towards him. That moment left hanging until the next day, when finally Kyle came on stage and spoke. His gentle words echoed the room like thunder. “No Excuse” – A true story of a congenital amputee who became a champion in wrestling and in life.

When I finally met him, it was full of admiration and respect, I was trying to find a subject matter to start a decent conversation without appearing to be like a fanatic fan, all I could summon was “Can I give you a kiss?” I felt an inexplainable surge of emotion for this stranger that needed to be expressed. Coming from an Asian culture, the thought itself I sworn could have made my parents squirmed having the first word of acquaintance to a guy from a lady. I must admit I was slightly embarrassed. From the moment we cross path, he looked at me straight in the eye and I felt an instant comfort feeling.  He then gracefully accepted the offer and we hugged after a brief peck on the cheek. Luckily, a true fan finally came to my rescue. She was a Thai fan, holding the Thai version of the “No Excuse” book, gingerly eager to get an autograph from Kyle. Kyle was beaming from ear to ear seeing the sight of his book. It was as if it was the first time he saw his own creation in that foreign language. Anxiously, he demanded for a photograph with her. I wondered who was the “real” fan. I’m sure the photo taken will be one of the most memorable moment for Kyle.

I completed reading the book while waiting for my 7 hours transit in LAX airport. Truth to be told, I barely understood the parts where Kyle described the wrestling moves. It’s not a sport I watch on tv. To me, wrestling is an act I can never learn to appreciate, to understand why 2 men would inflict injury and pain onto each other, to prove winning of the crown. Having said that, I do admire the determination, hard work for this respected sport. It must be the same when one pondered why women would inflict injury and pain onto own self, wearing high heels for the name of vanity or endure years of practice of dancing ballet on pointe shoes, just for a glory of grace moment. These are things in life, I come to conclusion to just accept.

I sat the remaining 5 hours writing this post. I feel good, very good to have shaken, hugged and kissed a man I can only describe complete in many ways God intended him to be.

My favorite phrases in the book:

1. The cave taught me that I could be the best at whatever I wanted to do if I found the right was to do it (p 38)

2. Excuses give us a reason to explain to other people why we are too weak to deal with a particular problem, regardless of the size or importance of the matter (p 47)

3. As human beings, our inability to be the very best at everything means we must rely on other people to help us where we are lacking (p 51)

4. Trust is incredibly important when you’re suddenly met with a challenge that will not only call upon your best efforts, but will also demand the same ethic from everyone around you (p 68)

5. The world’s greatest accomplishments aren’t achieved on the first try (p 78)

6. I was able to show what I has learned and prove to those who doubted my ability that I could do it (p 104)

7. In order to maximize your own potential, you have to realize that your mind – unless you work to reach a point of mental tenacity – will submit far sooner than your body (p 104)

8. Training the mind should be your focus (p 111)

9. The stakes are high; you can either win or be defeated in a way that strips you of every ounce of pride – because it’s a sport where you can make no excuses (p 112 )

10. Don’t blame your exhaustion on a lack of sleep if you choose to abuse your body with a bad diet, lack of exercise, or general inactivity (p 123)