We all experience setbacks in our lives: emotional, mental, spiritual and even physical. But what if you knew your setbacks could allow others to succeed?
Post-polio paraplegic statistics might suggest that Wally Cantrell was destined for a wheelchair and not for the sports scene. But Wally thwarted all odds and used his trial of being in a wheelchair as a steppingstone and not a stumbling block. Although Wally had to use leg braces and a wheelchair to get around he competed in the 1972 U.S. National Wheelchair Games for Track and Field where he threw the shot put and discus.
It wasn’t just his dreams he was concerned about, but he likewise became an
advocate for others as they strove to achieve their dreams.
For the past 25 years Wally Cantrell has been coaching track and field. Wally says that he has passion for helping others overcome their weaknesses and achieve things they felt they never could.
Currently Wally is the head coach at a middle school in Southwestern Wyoming where although he cannot run himself he encourages those who can to work hard and do things they never thought were possible. He fondly remembers the story of a young middle school student who tearfully told him that she could never run the 1600 meters. Wally tenderly encouraged the young athlete to try the race and voiced his belief in her. Despite her fears that she would come in dead last if she tried, this young athlete took a leap of faith and decided to put her fears aside and enter the race. By the end of the season that athlete had cut off a minute to her original time and was one of the top runners in that event.
So when our weakness and trials seem too much to bear, let us remember the
example of Wally and embody the word of God:
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”