Friday, September 9, 2016

Everything is Possible

The cover of the book first captures your attention.  You see an attractive young woman doing a handstand.  Looks good and then...where are her legs?  Her legs seem to have been airbrushed out of the picture.

But they haven't.  Jen Bricker was born without legs.  "Everything is Possible,"  co-written by Sheryl Berk and published by Baker Books, is the amazing story of how Bricker overcame her handicap to lead a full and fruitful life as an gymnast, aerialist, model and motivational speaker.  Read this book and you'll certainly think twice about sending out "pity party" invitations the next time you're feeling a little down or discouraged.

Like most healthy people I often take my body for granted.  I use my legs without even thinking about them.  Bricker has not let the loss of her legs from living life to the fullest.  Her adoptive parents lovingly encouraged her to try everything.  She found joy on the trampoline. She was a natural as a gymnast (more about that in a moment).  And she has found great success as an aerialist, performing in the Brittany Spears' "Circus" tour in 2009.

Bricker was put up for adoption just minutes after her birth. Her search to learn more about her natural parents led her to make an amazing discovery.  Her sister was Dominique Moceanu, the great Olympic gymnast.  Bricker also met her natural mother who, she discovered, had lived with much guilt and shame in the years following Bricker's birth. Their new relationship is one that continues to grow even to this day.

At times the book reads like one of Bricker's motivational speeches.  There is a sense of "you can do anything if you just put your mind to it and believe it."  While that attitude has worked for Bricker, life simply isn't that easy.  Still, one can't help admire how Bricker has not let her handicap keep her from living a full and inspiring life.