Have you ever found yourself skipping out on the gym because you’re tired, too sore, or embarrassed about your physical appearance? Or how about not joining the basketball team because of your height?

111007-STONE MOUNTAIN: Kyle Maynard take a break from climbing by tumbling up Stone Mountain Park with his team on Friday, Oct 8th.  Maynard, of Buford, is a young man born without arms or legs, who is well known for competing in professional mixed martial arts, is leading an expedition to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro this January. The climb is part of Maynard's career motivating people with disabilities with living examples of how he overcomes his own limitations. He is also an author, a motivational speaker and the subject of an ESPN documentary that aired in 2010.The team also includes former U.S. military members with injuries ranging from shrapnel wounds to traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress, a former Ugandan soldier who also served with U.S. forces in Iraq, two former record-holding college athletes, and an experienced expedition leader with multiple Kilimanjaro summits to his credit. Maynard says after the climb he will be the first quadruple amputee to climb the fourth highest peak of the Seven Summits without assistance. Phil Skinner pskinner@ajc.com

Editor's note:CQ

Well allow us to introduce you to an extraordinary human being who has continued to defy all odds despite his physical disabilities. Meet Kyle Maynard. Kyle was born with a condition known as congenital amputation which has left him with arms that end at the elbows and legs that end near his knees. His story begins as a young boy who dreamed of competing as a wrestler and a coach who provided him with the opportunity to try. His first two seasons were filled with defeat. In fact, he lost every single one of his matches his first year and most during his second. However, Kyle Maynard refused to quit and let his disabilities get the best of him. With his coaches help and Maynard’s unfaltering dedication, Maynard went on to win 36 Varsity wrestling matches his senior year defeating several state qualifiers his final season.


However, Kyle’s achievements extend way beyond the mat. With two elbows, Maynard can type up to fifty words per minute. In addition, Maynard can eat and write without any assistance, and drive a vehicle! Maynard began weight training at an early age by attaching leather straps and chains to his arms. In 2004, Maynard was awarded with an ESPY for Best Athlete with a Disability and was covered in ESPN Magazine. That same year he won the Presidents Award for the Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame. In 2005, Maynard was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and was awarded the prestigious Medal of Courage. That same year he also set the World Record in the modified bench press at the Arnold Fitness Classic with the bench of 360 lbs!

Maynard has always harnessed a passion for helping others achieve their goals. In 2008, Maynard built his first Cross Fit fitness center in Suwanee, GA thus fulfilling a long-term dream of his. That same year he also received the Highest Recognition Award of the Secretary of Health and Human Services because of his efforts as a life role model, motivational speaker and humanitarian.

Today, Kyle is training, motivating, and inspiring people around the world. So the next time you feel as if you can’t go any further, make it into the gym, or flat out need some inspiration; Think of Kyle Maynard.
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