I am a passionate sports fan who enjoys rooting for the New York Yankees and New York Football Giants. Participation in team and individual sports has always been an important part of my life. I am impressed by the accomplishments of people who overcome obstacles to achieve their goals.
I want to bring to your attention a truly inspiring story of sports, belief, passion and overcoming obstacles that is being played out on the Erie Canal in upstate New York over the next two weeks. It is not a story that you will likely see on Sports Center, which will be focused on performance-enhancing drugs and the next athlete who will get in trouble with the law.
It is the story of John Robinson and his family and their 17-day bicycle journey along the Erie Canal. Their goal is to raise awareness of the ability inside all People with Disabilities and raise funds along the journey to support Adaptive Sports, Accessibility, Education and Employment for New Yorkers with Disabilities. John and his families’ bike ride began yesterday in Buffalo.
The event was conceived by John who is an entrepreneur, advocate, and motivational speaker. John’s personal story has inspired thousands. Through his organization, Our Ability, Robinson mentors, connects, and inspires people with disabilities toward education and employment. At each stop along the way, John and others from Our Ability will share their inspirational stories.
As a congenital amputee born without full arms and legs, John Robinson overcame countless obstacles to become a successful businessman, family man and inspirational keynote speaker.
John chose The Erie Canal because it is a the symbol of inspiration and achievement His purpose is to help inspire all people touched by disability towards a new wave of economic development. Inspiring all people with disabilities toward education and employment through achievement can help re-build our economy.
I have known John for twelve years. He is an inspiration for all of us. He has overcome many obstacles that most of us can’t even imagine. John has always inspired me to not take for granted the gifts that I have but to continually developed new skills and abilities. I have had the opportunity to play golf with John on a number of occasions. John’s skill and determination on the golf course are an example of how he has led his life. I remember one moment on the tee with John a couple of years back that has stuck with me ever since. I was coming off a triple bogey on the previous hole and at the time I was frustrated by the great game of golf. John said to me, “Mark, just once I would like the opportunity to be able hit a shot with full arms and legs as you are able to.” That put it all in perspective.
Please support John, the Robinson Family and Our Ability in their mission to raise awareness and funds to support People with Disabilities.