This post is the first in a series that will focus on athletes who redefine ability in sports. The first profile is on the athlete who has had the biggest impact on my life and who has greatly influenced what my children believe is possible.
Name: Nick Springer
Hometown: Croton-on-Hudson, NY; but currently lives in Phoenix, AZ.
What sport or sports do you play? I play wheelchair rugby. I also scuba dive. I will do just about anything and everything that I get the opportunity to do.
What superpowers do you possess? I have the ability to look at any situation and come out of it with a smile.
What accomplishments in sports are you most proud of? Definitely, winning the gold medal in 2008 Paralympics. But, I am even more proud of helping the people who are newly injured and getting them back on their feet by building up their confidence. It is better than winning any championship.
What books inspire you? I mostly like fiction where the characters overcome great obstacles. I am drawn to historical fiction. In college, I read the memoirs of generals from WWII. I liked their mindset. Even though they didn’t want to be in their situation, they did what they had to do. I’m a big fan of Kurt Vonnegut. I got to know him when I was in the hospital. I like Slaughterhouse 5 and how he talks about death simply being an existence in another time and space.
What songs are on your workout playlist? It depends on the day and the workout, but I usually listen to punk rock and some heavy metal. It has to be fast paced.
What’s your mantra that keeps you going during tough workouts or bad days? Keep pushing!
How would you define ability? I would change how “ability” is defined and that it is not an ability that makes you strong, but your ability to push past your weaknesses that make you strong. Strength has nothing to do with what you can do when you are at your best, but what you can do when you are at your worst.
What is your sports story? Since a story usually has an ending and I know sports will always be a part of my life whether I am playing or not, I don’t think of it is a story. It is more of a journey.
What advice do you have for other athletes? It’s not about the impact on the game itself, but the impact you have on the lives of the people you play with and the people you inspire. Success is about the impact you have on others.
If you know an athlete who you think should be profiled because s/he believes in the possible and redefines ability, please contact email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).