July 29, 2012

Champions are Those Who Imagine it Can Be Done ...

and then make it happen.

I want you to meet my friend Glenda Watson Hyatt. We've been friends since she was 7 and I was 6. Or maybe 8 and 7, I can't remember. We were in Brownies (the junior British colony version of Girl Scouts) together, in the same . I'll add a photo of us when we were kids when I come across it again, but today I have to tell you a quick story about her inextinguishable will.

Glenda can do anything, with a bit of help from friends. Here's she and I ziplining across downtown Vancouver during the Olympics:

Yesterday, Glenda climbed the steps of the Art Gallery in Philadelphia, following in the footsteps of the semi-biographical character, Rocky Balboa. The true Rocky is a gentleman named Charles (Chuck) Wepner, a heavyweight boxer who went the distance with Muhammad Ali who joined Glenda in her triumph after her ascension.

Since the moment I met her, Glenda, brain injured at birth which left her with a "life, not death sentence" of cerebral palsy, has been a person who has chosen to say "yes" to life and opportunities. She wrote a book with one thumb, Do It Myself, about her early days, including her journey through school and university. Do it Myself is also available to read on your Kindle. If you want to feel inspired, or just get a look at what living with a disability looks like from the inside, I highly recommend  it. And not just because I make a brief cameo ...

Anyway, today is about Glenda, and the challenge she set her sights upon most recently. Climbing those stairs, aided by the group, Wish Upon a Hero. She would have done it without them, I know this from experience, but they made a personal challenge a party. I've stolen Glenda's montage of this event, which was made even better by a foundation called  from her FB page, so that you can celebrate her spirit too, and answer yes! to the next little (or not so little) dream you have.

Photo montage of Glenda, Rocky impersonator, boxer Chuck Wepner and the gang at Wish Upon a Hero as they climb the steps at the steps Rocky climbed to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Glenda and gang make the climb (photo courtesy: Wish Upon A Hero)

Finally, there's this story from the local Philadelphia newspaper. Enjoy a bit of inspiration on this lovely Sunday afternoon.

ps. Glenda writes and presents worldwide about Web Accessibility. If you have a blog, or develop internet software, she has compiled a wealth of information about courseware for you to use to broaden your readership by making content more widely available to those with disabilities. She asks you: Is Your Blog Disabled?


  1. Go, Glenda! You are quite the badass!

    1. Oh, you have NO IDEA how badass she is ... =)

  2. Great post, Karen. She's a real kick in the pants!

    1. Come here and she'll kick you in the pants ...

      ha ha ha ha ... kidding, right Glenda?! But we'd take you to a zip line that she's pining to do in Whistler, BC ... I'm pretty sure you'd be up for it.

      Glenda's pretty awesome ...

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