Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Say what? Who is Zach Anner?

We all know who Oprah is, but do we know who the winner will be for her search for the next TV star contest? It just might be a young man (who has my vote, by the way) by the name of Zach Anner. He has already accumulated over 2 million votes and likely in the running….but could he win?
Who is he you ask? If you haven’t seen his You-Tube video “Zach’s Oprah Audition” be sure to watch it. He describes himself as someone with a lot to say who doesn’t know where he’d fit in because he has cerebral palsy….what he calls the “sexiest of palsies”. According to Zach, he inspires to have a travel show “for people who never thought they could travel or go on an adventure”. His travel show, he says, would be “how to have the perfect vacation” and something to prove to people that “no obstacle is too big…no mountain too high…no volcano too hot….and no Atlantis too underwater or fictional”.

Is he referring to travel, and adventure, for those with disabilities? I think so. He makes his point loud and clear: “So, if you’re ready America, let’s go on an adventure together.” He says he knows his body is a “wonderland” and doesn’t know why anyone would be interested in him…but I think he is clearly mistaken. We should be interested in him because he is honest, candid, and funny…..while hitting home with his message that even someone with cerebral palsy can have a fulfilling life.

I was touched by two of his many (funny) videos. “Zach Anner Rolls over Austin: Part 1” is especially funny when he exclaims that finds the wheelchair ramp and then hugs the “accessible” sign only to find that the doors to the capitol don’t open. “Zach Anner Crawlathon: Part 1, The Tortoise and the Chair” was quite touching in that he wants to know how fast he can crawl a one mile track. He is inspired by other (professional) athletes and says that so many times “people assume what you can’t do” and its clear he wants to prove them wrong. He leans forward out of his chair on all fours on the track, knee pads in place and soon stops to change into long “warrior” pants. He continues to crawl; slowly and painfully as evidenced by his torn pants and bloody knees. Finally, he calls it a day after the first ¼ mile and says his quest will be continued. In another video he climbs Mount Bonnell in Austin and says “it is completely handicapped accessible…..if you have 2 guys who can carry you….in 100 degree heat”….and again, making his point loud and clear.

If you haven’t seen, or heard Zach, take a moment to check him out. Who knows he just might win Oprah’s deal and become host of his own TV show. Wouldn’t that be a novel idea and certainly a delight to all of us who live in the world of those with disabilities and special needs?

As Zach’s mom says, “When life gives you a wheelchair, make lemonade.” So let’s make lemonade together, shall we?

Best,
Julie

1 comment:

  1. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    Karma Recliner Wheelchair

    Keep Posting:)

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