November 8, 2013

Bobby McMullen: A Great Guy and Example

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Bobby McMullen. He is a talented competitor in skiing and mountain biking. Mountain biking is his passion and he has achieved a level of skill that I can never even aspire to achieve. Though this may seem like it is not much of an accomplishment, there are many professional mountain bikers, it is because Bobby is also legally blind. He rides every trail with a guide in front of him calling out obstacles as they ride down a trail. What a huge amount of trust that must take! I was lucky enough to have brunch with Bobby and a few other students before he gave a lecture for the common hour at my university. During brunch I asked him how he was able to build such trust with another individual. He told me that he built it like any other person would. He would speak with them to get to know them then do some rides. He reiterated several times that it takes such a large amount of trust, but that if he never pushed himself past the anxiety he would never be able to do the thing that he loved. Bobby's blindness is just one out of many physical trials that he has had to overcome. He has broken bones, fought cancer, and everything in between. What is surprising is that, though he has experienced all of these trails in his life, Bobby is still very energetic and fun to be around. The whole time I spent with him he was constantly smiling, cracking jokes, and laughing along with everyone. He was also very curious to get to know the others around him. He was so humble and selfless even while he was in a position that I'm sure most would not have been. I also asked Bobby what was the one piece of advice that he would give that he believes is the most important. His firm answer was that you need to remain true to yourself. Things happen in our lives that we cannot control, but we can control how we receive them. He thought that the best compliment that he has ever gotten from anyone is that he is the same guy that he has always been. All the adversity in his life has not changed him. This experience made me reflect on my life and how I have been using the time that I have. Bobby told of how he wishes everyone would live every day like it was their last. Don't waste time on things that don't make you happy or that do not help you achieve your goals. Of course we have all heard the tired advice that we should live everyday to its fullest, but Bobby brought new meaning to it. We have no idea when hardships will come our way. I don't want to look back on my life with regret. Just be happy and do what you love! post signature

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