Underappreciated Amazing Achievements

Walking.  It seems like such a simple thing, but what all is involved in this process that billions world-wide do every day? Many sources claim that it takes around 200 muscles to take 1 simple, little step. It is such a difficult task that most robots are unable to successfully complete this task as well as even a 4 year old child (although DARPA is doing a pretty awesome job, it seems).  For humans, though, one aspect of walking is often overlooked yet is central for performing this task with ease: sight.  For the sight impaired, walking, what most people take for granted, can be a challenging experience.  One little boy, however, refused to let a little thing like not being able to see stop him from achieving his goals.



Recently, my son decided that he would try to take a step (with predictable outcomes – i.e. a giant ker-plop on his kiester), but, being the stubborn little thing that he is, he kept popping back up to try again.  This got me to thinking, since he is a few months behind his sister, “Why is this so hard for him?”  The only conclusion that I could find is that, in terms of development, he will do as he will when he will.  We can encourage him, cajole him, train him all we want, but if he is not ready to learn something, he won’t.

As much time and care as my son is taking, how much more must Gavin Stevens, who suffers from Leber’s congential amaurosis, a rare disease, based in the genes, that affects the back of the eye, take?  Gavin has had this disease since birth, and, according to his mom, “grew up hitting milestones on his own terms. Always timid, he never crawled and walked late.”

However, Gavin developed a sense of inner strength that is allowing him to achieve some amazing feats (or should I say, feets?) from acquiring a love for music to the most recent viral video:

This video nearly brings me to tears: this boy nonchalantly saunters off what, EVEN TO THIS DAY, sometimes sends me sprawling face-first like I’m trying to base jump off of a 1″ cliff. It doesn’t end well.

I’m proud for, and of, you, Gavin, and hope that I can have half the courage and persevering attitude that you do.


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