Karen's Column: Inspiring Rider
Are you in the mood for some inspiration?
Below are some photos of Para Olympian Bettina Eistel.
Bettina was born with no arms due to Thalidomide – (a medication used for pregnant women who suffered morning sickness – until they discovered it caused serious birth defects).
Despite the odds, Bettina has overcome the mountains in her life to become a Para Olympic medallist. Take a look:
So many thoughts occurred to me as I scanned those photos; ‘what a special horse’, ‘what strong teeth she must have’, ‘she must have amazing balance’, and ‘I can’t believe she does all that herself’. Imagine how cold her toes must get, riding in boots with the toes cut out during a German winter. Brrrrr.
When we see someone as inspiring as Bettina, I suppose it reminds us that the human spirit is capable of so much more than we think. I hate the little clichés on the end of emails that tell us once we have seen someone like Bettina we won’t feel like we have problems any more. If we have problems - we have problems! Bettina’s struggles and triumphs won’t make our heart aches go away. But hopefully they will give us some hope and courage. Hopefully we look at her and realise if she can be that determined and triumphant, then maybe we can be determined to find a solution and overcome our difficulties too. Nothing is impossible to those who believe!
Wishing you hope and courage,
*Eistel was formerly Vice-Europe and Vice World Champion (two silver and bronze at the European Championships in Portugal in 2002 and three silver at the World Championships in Belgium in 2003) and won two silver and one bronze medal at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens , she won also three times the German championship. As the most recent successes are the bronze medal in the required tasks of the individual competition and the silver medal in the team standings at the 2008 Paralympics in Hong Kong. The horse shown in these photos is Fabuleax 5