Kyle Maynard has no arms or legs, yet he's a championship wrestler in
the 103-pound class in his high school. He's also a
Sentinel of Vigilance, able to help you wrestle your Beast of Terror
to the mat and win every match. He can help you at home, in
business and in life. Find out how.
January 28, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 868
Wrestling The Beast Of Terror To Victory
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Jan. 28, 2004 -- Kyle Maynard wrestles
the Beast of Terror each and every day, and, he wins every match.
The high school senior
who attends Suwanee, Georgia's Collins Hill High School , dons his
wrestling gear and takes on all comers as part of a championship
wrestling team on its way to the state finals where Kyle hopes to fare
fights the Beast of Terror each and every day, winning all matches
Before, however, he hits the mats in high
school competition, he wrestles the Beast of Terror in his mind and
pins him with authority. Kyle, wrestling in the
103-pound weight class, has no arms or legs. He was born a
He is two and a half feet tall.
His arms are stubby, ending at elbow length. His legs extend to
his kneecaps. But that doesn't stop him from standing tall
against competitors who misjudge the ferocity of his will or the
strength of his body and spirit.
He even played football on his
sixth-grade team as nose guard. He was able to thrust his
body against onrushing players, tripping and tackling them.
Yesterday, his story appeared
on HBO, a reminder to anyone who thinks life has dealt them a bad hand
that one can wrestle the Beast of Terror and become a Sentinel of
That's Kyle's attitude.
positive attitude stems from his Parents of Vigilance
And, he has a couple of Parents
of Vigilance to thank for it.
His father and mother had some
hard choices to make about raising Kyle, who has three sisters, none
of whom are afflicted with any handicaps. Should they
coddle Kyle? Or, treat him as "normal."
"It was hard," his mother said,
"to not want be his caretaker. We decided to teach Kyle
how to live on his own, and didn't do things that might make him feel
dependent on us."
Kyle's father, a former
wrestler in school, urged Kyle to compete.
"I grew up with the
attitude of self-respect. I learned how to do things myself, and
that I was a normal as anyone with limitations."
The Beast of
Terror whispers "you can't do it" in our ears
He admits when Fear attacks, he employs
Courage to overcome it. And when Intimidation looms, he
grits his teeth and uses his Conviction to keep his focus clear.
For example, in his first year of wrestling he didn't win a match, but
he continued, despite the odds. This year, as senior, his
record is 16 wins and five losses. He has his eye on winning at
the state finals.
And when Complacency sticks its
head up and tries to drive Kyle into the dark, dank corners of the
Beast of Terror's lair, he employs Right Actions for future
"I believe I am an example to a
lot of people that anybody can do anything if they set their mind to
it," he says. "There are a lot of kids who feel less than
others and when they see me doing what I'm doing, maybe they will
think more of themselves."
Recently, Kyle won the
World's Strongest Teen Title in Atlanta, Ga. when he bench pressed 240
pounds 23 times.
Opponents who, with arms
and legs, face him on the wrestling mat make a mistake if they
underestimate his power, says his wrestling coach, Cliff Ramos.
Kyle attacks his opponents, using his stubby arms and sheer muscle to
twist his opponents into a pretzel.
"He just doesn't quit,"
And the Beast of Terror
loses every time Kyle competes. Winning isn't the key to
the power of Kyle Maynard: competing is.
It is easy to teach a
child to be dependent by not issuing a child challenges when faced
with the wrath of the Beast of Terror. A child, for
example, having problems in school with studies may have the idea that
he or she is "stupid" or "not as smart as," or "not as gifted as"
Intimidated by others and was a poor student
I felt that way. I was a poor
student, gathering a "D" average in high school. I felt
Intimidated by others and wasn't encouraged at home to study or to
excel academically. It was only when I went to my school
counselor in my senior year and asked what my I.Q. was that I found
out I wasn't "stupid." In my mind, I equated my lack of
performance to a lack of mental ability. When I realized I
was "substantially above normal" I began to bear down, enrolled in
Junior College and suffered through a series of "bonehead" classes to
prove I could handle the work of college.
We create handicaps for
ourselves, mental and physical. These are the works
of the Beast of Terror, who rides on our shoulders whispering:
"You're not good enough...worthy enough...smart enough...deserving
enough...." and attempts to degrade our self-image, our
Unless we are prodded by outside
stimuli, we often believe the Beast's whispers, we become seduced by
his grinding at our substance, and weaken in the face of challenges
that lay before us as tests of our will and character.
This is where the Parent of Vigilance
plays the most important possible role in the development of a child.
A Parent of Vigilance must assume the
role of a coach, urging a child to face Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency with Courage, Conviction and Right Actions that benefit
Kyle Maynard's parents assumed that role of
Coaches of Vigilance. They helped him create the mental
muscles as well as the physical ones to challenge the Beast of Terror
that whispered in his ear: "You are a victim. You are
handicapped. You aren't normal. You deserve pity."
looks on while a fellow student thanks Kyle for his inspiration
Each of us as adults face the daily
wrestling match with the Beast of Terror. He
whispers in our ears when we least expect it: "Ahhh, you can't
do that, why try." Or, "You failed at that before, you'll fail
again, just give up." Or, "Your life sucks because you're
a loser. Just admit it. Look at your life.
It's a mess. You'll never be happy. You'll never
amount to anything important. You're stuck in a rut.
You can't get out. Surrender."
Oh, the Beast of Terror has
long tentacles that can choke the human spirit to death as slowly as
drops of water pound holes into granite rocks. The
Beast tries to pin us all to his mat, to hold us down, to twist us
into pretzels so we feel like not competing because we'll be pinned
again and again.
But if we look at Kyle Maynard,
and take a page out of his book, we realize that nothing can pin us
but how we think and act. There can be little doubt
that Kyle often reflects on his condition and asks the question we all
do when our lives are under inventory: "Why me?"
refuses to be a victim
"victimization" thinking can turn toxic if we let it simmer and brew
in the Beast's cauldron cooking inside our innermost thoughts.
We need to ventilate such thinking as quickly as it appears.
Kyle Maynard's image can help.
Imagine when you have thoughts of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency
that you call upon Kyle to wrestle the Beast. Sometimes it
is good to have a third-party intercede in your behalf, and no one
seems to know how to pin the Beast better than Kyle.
Say, for example, you're
thinking: "Awww, I just can't handle this situation. To
hell with it." That's a Complacency attack by the Beast of
Terror. Call on Kyle, your Sentinel of Beast Wrestling
Vigilance. Imagine Kyle is a teammate and he's taking on
your Beast. See the Beast laughing at this 103-pound
figure, thinking he has the advantage. Then see Kyle attack,
trip the Beast, pin him furiously.
If you have children,
tell them the story of Kyle Maynard. Use the story of Kyle
to remind your children of how Fear, Intimidation and Complacency
(Giving Up), can be converted into Courage, Conviction and Right
Actions. Ask your kids when they are faced with dilemmas:
"How would Kyle handle this? What do you think Kyle would
If you're a business person, think of
Kyle as your manager. When faced with problems at work
that appear odious or ominous or threatening to your self-image, ask
Kyle to wrestle your Beast of Business Terror. In
sales and management meetings, bring up the story of Kyle and ask how
Kyle might deal with the challenge. How would he pin the Beast
of Business Terror that threatens more sales, or is trying to suck out
Kyle is a
Senior at Collins High school with a 3.7 GPA with college-level
classes. He hopes to attend college next year and major in
Business Management or Marketing
We all need role models. Kyle's
parents keyed in on helping their son acquire self-sufficiency by
reminding him that he was not a victim. He turned adversity into
opportunity, and a handicap into a competitive advantage.
None of us need to feel less than or not as
good as others. It is easy to fall into the quagmire
of Complacency, to think we are trapped by circumstance and events to
always be what we think we are.
But Kyle Maynard reminds us we are not what
we appear. The average person seeing Kyle on the street
may say to himself or herself: "Oh, that's too bad.
I feel sorry for him." That would be a huge mistake.
It would assume the "average person" was without ailments, without
handicaps, without defects of character.
Many people with arms and legs feel like
cripples at times. They become powerless. They
cower in Fear, Intimidation and wallow in Complacency over issues.
They forget that Vigilance is a state of mind not body.
They forget the Beast of Terror doesn't care what your body looks
like, he attacks your mind, your attitude, your outlook on life,
trying to darken it, to put scales over your eyes so you cannot see
the light at the end of the tunnel, to strangle Hope so that you will
think the difference between the rut and the grave is the depth.
Maynard's story is about breaking the death grip of the Beast of
Kyle Maynard's story is about breaking out of
the death grip of the Beast of Terror. It is about
wrestling the Beast to victory by not allowing the Beast to win by
default, by our giving up the battle.
To assure we are tip-top shape to
wrestle the Beast, we need to stay in top condition. By taking
the Pledge of Vigilance, and vowing daily to fight Fear with Courage,
Intimidation with Conviction, and Complacency with Right Actions that
benefit the Children's Children's Children, we win the battle before
we wage it.
The Beast is not stupid.
He attacks the weak and vulnerable first. He stalks
the unsuspecting, the unaware.
When we flex our Vigilance muscles,
the Beast runs. He knows we'll pin him to the mat if he
dares to engage us. Ultimately, he's a coward.
And, if you aren't inclined to take
the Pledge for some reason, then do yourself a favor. Put
Kyle Maynard on your right shoulder each morning.
Let him ride there throughout the
day, keeping an eye on the Beast of Terror who rides on your left
shoulder. And, when the Beast begins to whisper to you, trying
to put you in the victims role, just ask Kyle to wrestle him.
You'll win every time.
Jan 27--Warts & Pluses: Signets of the
Beast of Terror