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Being Different Is OK: The Real Story Of 10-Year Old Ezra Frech

Being Different Is OK: The Real Story Of 10-Year Old Ezra Frech

Ezra Frech has endured more than the average person’s share of challenges ― and he is only 10 years old. He was born with disabilities that would cause most people to slow down and give up, and few people expected him to physically excel. Yet, far from deterred by his irregularities, Ezra continues to push himself, and today he boasts one of the most inspirational stories of the year.

Born With Congenital Differences

Though Ezra was born a healthy, happy baby boy, he did have some obvious anomalies that would make life difficult for him. Perhaps most obvious was baby Ezra’s left arm, which ended in a single finger rather than a full five-fingered hand. However, more detrimental to his development, Ezra’s left leg was excessively curved, and he was missing his left patella and fibula ― crucial bones that allow the leg to bend. Movement for baby Ezra was awkward and painful, and a single digit was not enough for him to grasp objects effectively. His parents and doctors imagined a better life ― but that life required Ezra to have dramatic surgeries.

Rebuilt by Modern Medicine

At the tender age of 2, Ezra went under the knife. The primary goal for Ezra’s surgeries was to create limbs that gave the boy more mobility and utility, especially as he aged.

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Initially, doctors amputated Ezra’s left leg below the hip, replacing the kneeless leg with a human-built alternative. By streamlining the non-functioning leg into a short stump, doctors created an appendage that would better fit modern prosthetics. Additionally, using the big toe from the discarded limb, doctors gave Ezra a second finger on his left hand, which allowed him strength and dexterity he previously lacked.

After a couple years of recovery, Ezra received his first prostheses at age 4. The Hanger Clinic gave Ezra two different legs: one with an articulated knee for everyday use and a running blade designed for high activity. For the first time in his life, Ezra was able to use two functional legs to walk with a normal gait, but more than that ― Ezra was able to run and jump.

Inspired by Physical Feats

Even before Ezra received his artificial limb, he was entranced by sports. Baby Ezra could spend hours rolling balls back and forth across the floor, and he learned to count early (albeit by twos) by watching professional basketball games. As soon as he could stand at 1 and a half years, Ezra practiced shooting basketballs; throughout his recovery, he would devote hours to running around the backyard, increasing his endurance, and perfecting his form. He simply couldn’t wait to begin playing sports, and when he donned his new leg, he finally got his wish.

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Empowered to Try Harder

Despite Ezra’s athletic zeal, his prosthetic leg didn’t immediately transform him into a sports prodigy. Ezra often tells the story of his first experience on the basketball court in kindergarten after obtaining his first leg: He missed every shot he took, and instead of completing his set like the other kids, Ezra ran away disheartened. Fortunately, Ezra’s coach pulled Ezra aside and told him to continue making shots and “finish well.” Ezra took that lesson to heart, and from then on, he always pushed himself to complete his physical endeavors, no matter how poorly he performed.

ezra

    Eventually, Ezra did master his leg ― and then some. He travels the country to compete in national competitions, like the Endeavor Games, the Desert Challenge Games, and the National Junior Disability Championships, and to date, Ezra holds nine national records for junior track and field events, including the long jump and the high jump. Plus, Ezra competes in district basketball, soccer, and football leagues, finishing his season as his team’s starting quarterback.

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    Heartening to Everyone

    Ezra’s achievements are testaments to the power of committing to one’s goals, something even tycoon business leaders could learn from. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what one’s obstacles are ― it only matters that one strives to overcome them.

    Ezra isn’t afraid to admit that he is challenged by his differences every day. Every single step puts unnatural strain on his body, and he sometimes does pray for a divine solution to his problems. However, Ezra says, “I have to think about what I have instead of what I don’t have.” Ezra appreciates his body for what it allows him to do, and he wants people to know that it is OK to be different ― sometimes, it even allows you to be more amazing than you thought possible.

    Image of Ezra running by Jason Gould from Angel City Sports

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    Featured photo credit: LifeHack via media.lifehack.org

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    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

    7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

    7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

    What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

    For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

    It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

    1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

    The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

    What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

    The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.

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    2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

    Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

    How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

    If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

    Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

    3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

    Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

    If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?

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    These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

    What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

    4. What are my goals in life?

    Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

    Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

    5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

    Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

    Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?

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    You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

    Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

    6. What do I not like to do?

    An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

    What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

    Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

    The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …

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    7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

    Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

    But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

    “What do I want to do with my life?”

    So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

    Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via unsplash.com

    Reference

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