Don’t Steal People’s Dreams Just Because You’ve Lost Yours…


I’ve have a lot of defining moments in my life, but recently I seem to have had more than my fair share.

This is a good thing; I learn a lot from these sparks of inspiration and very often they have helped to shape my future in a very positive way.

But how easy is it to project our perceived limitations onto someone else?

Osborn’s 18th birthday…need I say more?!

I try so hard not to limit my children’s ambitions, but when Osborn was selected to take part in the ‘Two Castles Run’ locally (it’s 10 Kilometres), to say I was concerned for his health would be an understatement!

Osborn has Cerebral Palsy, right side hemiplegia, which means that his CP affects his right side more dramatically than his left.  The muscles in his right leg regularly spasm, which is extremely painful and affects his ability to walk easily. His right leg is also an inch shorter than his left and all of the muscles in his leg are very tight.

All of this has always made running and sport very hard for him but has never deterred him from taking part, knowing all of his life that he would always come last.

He was never put off by this, he just wanted to have a go, and when numerous doctors consistently told us as a child that he would NEVER be able to ride a bike, he rose to the challenge, spent 3 entire summers trying (and falling off repeatedly) but, eventually managed to stay on and now regularly rides into town without any problems!  What a hero!

So, Osborn embarked on the 10k run with me biting my nails wondering if he would be rendered incapable of continuing after a short time.

I waited at the finish line in a state of nail-biting anxiety, the fastest runners came through at about the 40 minute point.  I naturally assumed that Osborn (if he made it at all) would be with the stragglers at the end and was prepared to settle on the grass for an hour or so waiting for him.

We watched as the main pack came through at around the hour mark and to my amazement and enormous relief, there was Osborn!

He resembled the colour of a beetroot and was obviously exhausted but, none the less, he was still going and looking every bit as determined as he always is.

His actual time was 1hr 1 minute and 32 seconds. This is an incredible achievement in any event, but, add to that the fact he hadn’t done any training, and it was nothing less than a miracle!

And so, yet again, I was taught, to never underestimate my children!

How many times have I panicked when they’ve wanted to do something that I was scared they would fail at?  How many times have they proved me wrong?  And how many more times in the future will they leave me flabbergasted with their achievements?

I don’t know!

All I do know is that I love it when they prove me wrong!  I never tell them they can’t do something they plan to do, I keep my reservations to myself so as not to discourage them, but I worry internally.

That concern will never go away for me, but that means I have many more years of being delighted and experiencing that exhilarating feeling of pride as they overcome all the odds yet again.

Always believe in people and if you doubt their abilities, keep it to yourself.


My TED talk is here:-





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