Posted by: altmike | September 24, 2012

Can’t is not an Excuse

When someone tells you can’t do something, you have two choices; you can believe them and choose to accept the notion that your abilities are less than adequate because of an excuse. Or, you can deny that person credit for their statement and prove them wrong. I don’t believe that the word “Can’t,” should ever be used as justification for someone to not accomplish something.  No matter what obstacle a person is faced with, I believe that without a doubt they can overcome it if they believe in themselves.

I was born with a birth defect that left me with only a thumb and a pinky on each hand. To say the least I was put at a disadvantage compared to my peers from the get go, however I never let that limit me in any facet of my life. When I was 1 year old a doctor told my parents that I would struggle playing on the monkey bars…that I would struggle playing sports…but that I “should” be able to do things like all of the other kids. The best thing my parents ever told me was that “You can do anything you put your mind to, you may have to do it differently, but there is nothing you can’t do.” I took this to heart throughout school and refused to let anyone tell me differently. Now I am 22 years old and relentlessly challenge myself physically. I play every sport possible and coach High School tennis. It is truly my passion to inspire and motivate others.

Many people often talk about how perseverance is possible no matter the circumstance; I am here to exemplify that first hand. I know what it’s like to be told that you aren’t good enough and that because of limitations beyond your control, you will never be as good as so and so. These are all things said to deter someone from accomplishing their goals. With the right mindset, anything is possible.

With this blog I want provide people with a story that I hope people can relate to and also use as motivation to accomplish their personal goals. I plan to talk about a few other individuals who have risen above the odds. These people include athletes like Jim Abbott and Anthony Robles, along with a few local Reno individuals that have been successful as well.  My goal is simple; inspire the world.

Can’t is not an excuse.



  1. What an inspiration you are to our family and to others. I was crushed when I found out about your hands after your birth, but I saw in your parents and sister’s eyes how much they loved and cared for you. You always impressed me and your Uncle John and we both knew what your parent’s knew that you could do anything you put your mind to. You inspire me everyday and I’m so proud to be your Aunt.

    • Auntie Thank you so much. It is family and people like you that inspired me and gave me the courage to start this blog. I can’t even begin to thank you enough for all that you have done for me throughout my life!

  2. Well said Mike. I’d consider going one step further and challenge people to replace can’t with “choose not to..” It adds a new dimension of personal responsibility when we set out to achieve goals.

  3. Wow, I’m so excited I discovered this blog! I got here via the link Molly posted about your piece on the Lucky Fin Project. I’m also a blogger with a limb difference.


  4. Mike,
    I found your blog through the Lucky FIn Project. My son (7) was born with a limb difference. We tell him all the time that he can do everything that other kids can do (and more, if he sets his mind to it!) He has been teased about his hand, which is so hard for him (and me… is it wrong to want to kick a 6 year old’s ass?), but he/we are learning to deal with it together. So glad to have found this blog! Inspiration!

    • Thank you so much for the comment Laura! I was literally laughing so hard when I read what you said bout wanting to kick a 6 yr olds ass! I too have considered the morality of doing that at times as well. The best thing you can do for your son is to support him. Whatever his passions are in life, feed them! And always expose him to different things, for instance, growing up my parents didnt shy away from allowing me to use chop sticks because they thought I would get frustrated. Instead, they told me every time I tried that I could do it,but it would take practice and now I can use them better than half the people I know. I wish you and your son all the best!

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