Heather Abbott is the model of strength and resilience. The Boston Marathon bombing survivor, lost her left leg as a result of shrapnel to her foot. Just four months following the bombing, she was living independently and returned to her job. Within the first year following her amputation, she returned to the activities she loves, including paddle boarding, running and wearing high heels. Heather shares her story with audiences across the country and inspires others with her contagious optimism and thoughtful reflection on her journey. She has become certified as a Peer Counselor by the American Amputee Coalition and is helping other amputees adjust to their “new normal,” as an example of hope and determination. In addition, she is founder of the newly formed Heather Abbott Foundation, which provides prosthetic devices to limb loss victims of trauma.
Some of you may know that my career statistics weren’t that great. There were some incredible highlights and some agonizing low lights. The truth is, I won’t go to the Hall of Fame. But if a career can be measured by special moments, lessons learned and a connection with people, then I would stack mine up with anyone’s. Maybe there is an obligation to share. To try and learn from the experiences life puts us through.
When you play major league baseball it is easy to become self-absorbed. Your world can become very narrow. One of the aspects of speaking is that I enjoy getting out in the real world and seeing how hard people work. I have been amazed at how much their pursuit of excellence is similar to that same pursuit on a baseball diamond.
The challenge for me as a professional speaker has been to try and formulate a common language. The wordthat I have come up with is ADAPT. To continue to move towards our goals we must be willing to adapt. To change, and mold ourselves in order to meet the obstacles in our own way. Using ADAPT as an acronym you can put together a powerful set of words that stand alone in their significance, but they also string together like a chain in an amazing way.
A – Adjustability
D – Determination
A – Accountability
P – Perseverance