Dr. DARREN CHUA

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11December

2015

Why I Participated in the World Strongest Man Challenge

So, there I was. Me vs the machine

This was going to be a variation of The World Strongest Man competition which was originally developed in 1977 for CBS by Langstar Inc.

Vehicles such as transport trucks, trams, boxcars, buses, or planes are pulled across a 100-foot (30 m) course as fast as possible. One variation sees the competitors pull the object with a rope toward them. Another has them attached to a rope which is attached to a vehicle, while they use another rope to pull themselves down the course. A third involves no ropes, with the competitors pulling the vehicle while connected to a harness.

With this version, The Inclusive Strongman Challenge, the challenge was simple enough. To pull the car with me seated down in my wheelchair and strapped to the vehicle and, just pulling and moving it.

When Bee, a friend, approached me I was so honoured and delighted to have this opportunity. Not to show off since, to tell the truth, I believe many other para-athletes will be able to pull the car over a further distance. But, more importantly, it is to drive home a point:

Disability is of the mind and never about the body.

And so there I was on 28 November 2015 and the challenge given to me and, I pulled. But that was not the point. What was more important was that from this challenge, to anybody who saw it that day and many more that will see it in the various media forms, they will all see one thing:

Hope.

Through my interaction with many disabled and even among the abled bodied, even before there is a breakdown in lives, there is almost always a crash of hope.

I am someone who talks about The Art of Determination.  Yet the spirit that drives determination is hope and we must live life as A Prisoner of Hope.

I lived a significant portion of my life trapped within my own body as a stroke survivor and I know what it is like to live in a ‘prison’. But what is more devastating is not a physical prison but a mental prison.

It is hope that gives us courage to believe in a better tomorrow. It is hope that gives us the audacity to think and plan of a better future. It is hope that says, “I deserve better because I am and I can”.

And oh, by the way, it moved approximately 1.5 meter.

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