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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.

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    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 November 5, 2018

    8 Powerful Reasons to Love Your Enemies

    8 Powerful Reasons to Love Your Enemies

    We’ve all got our enemies; people who take pleasure in causing us pain and misery. Sometimes, the development of an enemy is due to certain differences in your characters and events have led to that. Other times, some people end up hating you for apparently no reason at all.

    Regardless of how you got this enemy, as opposed to the paradigm of fighting fire with fire, consider the following reasons and see why you should actually appreciate your enemies. This article will show you not only how to not be bothered by your enemies, but how to actually foster love for them.

    Read on to learn the secret.

    1. It’s a practical lesson in anger management

    To be honest, your enemies are the best people to help you understand your sense of anger management. When it might be true that your enemies have a way of bringing out the worst in you as regards anger, it is also true that they can help you in your quest to have that anger managed. You can’t get truly angry at someone you love and it is only in that time when you get truly annoyed that you learn how to manage it.

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    Anger management is more effective when it is in practice and not in theory

    Your enemies are like the therapists who you need, but actually don’t want. Inasmuch as you might want to hate them, they provide you an opportunity to control the anger impulse that you have.

    2. It’s an opportunity for healthy competition

    You might not know it, but your enemies make for great rivals as they help harness the competitor in you (sometimes, you might not even know or bee conversant with this competitive side until you come across an adversary). You get the right motivation to compete and this can go a long way to spur you to victory.

    However, while doing so, it is also essential that you remember not to become a worse version of yourself while competing. Working against an adversary is tricky, and you need to ensure that you don’t cause harm to yourself or your morals in the process. Healthy competition is all you need to get out of this.

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    3. Their negative comments can help you make a breakthrough

    It is true that your enemies never really have much good to say about you. However, in as much as they might be talking out of a place of hate, there might be some truth to what they’re saying.

    To wit, whenever you hear something mean or nasty from an enemy, you might want to take a step back and evaluate yourself. There is a chance that what this enemy is saying is true and coming to face that fact is a major step in helping you to become a better person overall. This is another testament to the fact that enemies can be therapists in their own way.

    4. Enemies can also be powerful allies

    Loving your enemies can also mean making an effort to interact and make peace with them. In the end, if you are able to establish some common ground and patch things up, you’ll have succeeded in making another friend. And who doesn’t need friends?

    This can also help you in working with people in the long run. You get to hone your inter-personal skills, and that can be a big plus to your ledger.

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    5. It gives you the ability to realize positivity

    In a multitude of negativity, a speck of positivity always seems to find its way through.

    Sometimes, a knowledge of the fact that you have enemies will also help you to focus on the many positives and good things that are in your life. A lot of times, we neglect what really matters in life. This can be due to being overly concerned with the enemies we have.

    However, it is also possible for this acknowledgement to spur you to take a step back and appreciate the goo things (and people who surround you).

    6. There might just be a misunderstanding

    Sometimes, the reason why you have an enemy might be something very innocuous. You might not have known the cause of this fractured relationship and your enemy will help complete the picture.

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    Simply approaching them will help you to understand the reason for the fracture. This, in turn, can help you to work towards healing your relationship moving forward. Misunderstandings happen, and you need to be able to work around them.

    7. You learn to appreciate love as well

    A constant reminder of the fact that there are enemies will also help you not to take those who love you for granted. Love and hate are two opposing emotions and it is possible for one to momentarily overshadow the other.

    However, while you’ll always have enemies, there will also always be people who love you. These people need to be appreciated for what they do for you. Never let the hate projected to you from your enemies take the place of that.

    8. Do you really need the hate?

    The truth is that enemies bring only toxic emotions and generate bad reactions from you. If you’re truly to live a prosperous life, you can’t really be carrying all this baggage around.

    Hate is bad and you should try all you can to get rid of it. It is a well-known fact that nobody can get really far in life while carrying a lot of emotional baggage. Well, hate is the biggest form of emotional baggage there is.

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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