Sunday, May 30, 2010

Aimee Mullins on running

By Amber H.

Aimee Mullins is a remarkable young women who has achieved a great amount for having a disability. She expresses her difficulty in her running journey and explains how she overcomes it.

Miss Mullins is a double amputee she was born without fibula's in both legs and overcomes surgery when she was a year old. During her years of growing up she was involved in softball and skiing. After she was finished high school she got accepted into Georgetown in the foreign service program. Since she had played sports through out her high school career she was getting a little edgy on not playing any sports in college. When she got to her college, she started getting a little bit interested in track and field. She had never competed on a disabled level even for having a disability. Since she had never run any distances before, she flew to Boston and ran a fifty meter run. After she was completely breathless. For the remaining of her legs she wore a leg that was made of wood and plastic attached with Velcro straps. Underneath the wooden/plastic leg she wore giant wool socks, the combination of wooden legs and wool socks isn't the most comfortable thing to wear when running but it's all she's ever known. When she approached the race, looking at her competition she thought "well, we all know who's going to lose this race", but still didn't give up her confidence. She saw something before her race that was completely remarkable. A man with one leg hoping towards the high jump and cleared it at six feet two inches, with one leg. Mullins compared herself to the man with one leg; with her heart pounding she lined up for her race and began to run. When she finished the race, she placed first. She beat the national record by three hundredths of a second and became the new national record holder on her first try-out. She continues about how she needs more training and calls the track coach in Georgetown who has coached many Olympians. She started training with him, and by the winter time of '95 she was invited to run on the women's track team. She ran in a competition which happened to be a championship - the Big East. Mullins explains that while she's running the sweat acts like a lubricant and almost launches her out of her leg. She begged her coach not to let her run the next race "so what if your leg falls off, you pick it back up and finish the race!" She showed the audience her different types of legs, which was actually quite interesting.

In my opinion I think this talk was very well done except the volume of the audio. Anything they said was very hard to hear because the volume had to be turned up. Other than the issue with hearing the presentation, I found this talk very interesting. If this was me personally in her situation I would not have been able to overcome my disability and pursue a career in the field where I'm most disabled in. I thought she handled the loss of her legs exceptionally, even though it was something she was born with. Having to deal with the comparison of her to everyone else would have been hard for me to handle, but she dealt with her problem and even overachieved. Sometimes during her presentation she would involve the audience while telling her story. The only other thing she did to grasp the attention of the audience was showing them the different types of legs she has. One of the things that interested me the most was her different types of legs for different types of events. She had a leg that does not look anything like legs for running, and has one of the only pair of natural looking legs that actually look real in the world. Overall, I thought her presentation was rated a seven out of ten.

1 comment:

  1. fantastic! and want to talk with you about collaboration...please have teacher email bob bradley at