Yes, I do have cerebral palsy that affects my muscle coordination, balance and speech. Yes, I type with only my left thumb. Yes, I do use an electric scooter for getting around. And, yes, I use a synthesized text-to-speech voice for public speaking. But that doesn’t mean my life is boring and unfulfilling. Very far from it, in fact!
To share a bit about myself, I’d like to share five guiding principles of my life:
1. Do What It Takes
Whether it’s spending seven years to complete my Bachelor of Arts, taking four years to write my autobiography I’ll Do It Myself or creating a technology mashup to speak publicly, I do what it takes to get the job done.
Oftentimes that involves thinking outside of the box to find a creative solution; for example, by using a Gorilla tripod to mount my camera to my scooter, I can now enjoy photography as a hobby.
2. Seize the Opportunity
There is nothing like exclaiming “Hell, ya!” when an opportunity presents itself.
Allow me to illustrate: Near the end of our day at the Cloverdale Rodeo, my friend and I passed one booth with two huge, badass motorcycles on display. My friend suggested I park beside one and she would take a photo; the caption could read something like, “Glenda considering an upgrade.”
A voice from the back hollered, ”Go ahead and sit on it!” I could have responded with a wimpy, “Oh, no thanks. Its okay,” and not bothered getting on the bike, but…that isn’t me!
I stood up beside the bike and sat on the seat. Getting my leg over the front was a struggle. One woman suggested I sit sideways for the photo, but…that isn’t me!
With more effort and leaning back (who knew that helped with getting on to a motorbike), we managed to get my right leg over. (Thinking back, it might have been easier to mount it like a horse and swing my leg over the back. Next time!)
3. Take Time for the Small Things
Taking time for the small things – whether it’s cuddling with my purring kitty, receiving a nuzzle from a horse, watching the birds flitter about or numerous other seemingly insignificant moments – is what puts a smile on my face and brings pure joy to my life.
Those small moments are what makes navigating life’s challenges possible and worthwhile.
4. Savour the Moment
Rather than racing from one life’s experience to the next, I prefer to fully experience each one; squeezing out every last delicious drop before moving onto the next.
Standing between Rocky impersonator Mike Kunda and the inspiration for the Rocky movies, boxing champion Chuck Wepner, atop of the Rocky steps in Philadelphia was one of those moments I will continue to savour for years to come.
5. Walk in My Own Shoes
I haven’t been one to try to walk in another’s shoes, at least not for very long.
Either intentional or not, my life has always taken the path least travelled. Not needing to follow a map set by someone else is both exciting and liberating.
If you are looking for a formal speaker bio…
Like you, author, blogger and speaker Glenda Watson Hyatt aims to make the most of life. For her, living with cerebral palsy has not meant a boring and unfulfilled life. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
Glenda embraces the zest of life and goes for it with a “can do” attitude. Whether it’s doing what it takes to write her bestselling I’ll Do It Myself with only her left thumb, seizing the opportunity to climb the Rocky steps in Philadelphia, or walking her own path to become an international motivational speaker when her significant speech impairment might have indicated another path best.
By sharing her own unique life experiences, Glenda aims to encourage, to entice, to motivate you to move forward, to go for it, to strive for your potential and to live life more fully. Glenda considers herself successful only when the next time you are standing on the edge of an opportunity and wavering, you take the leap and go for it.