In many ways, Matt Stutzman is just your average guy. A hardworking, married, 33-year old with three children, Matt, like many fathers, goes to work, changes diapers, hunts and fixes cars.
However, unlike most other fathers, Matt Stutzman has no arms. Born with a rare medical condition, Matt has had to learn to navigate life without the benefit of arms, opposable thumbs and everything in between.
Clearly this is a very tangible weakness that created significant adversity for Matt to overcome. Matt had to learn to do all of life’s tasks — mundane or significant — without the benefit of arms and hands. Tying shoes, opening doors, driving, feeding himself, all of this, Matt learned to do with his feet.
What is fascinating about Matt’s story is that in his case, his significant weakness is also an extraordinary and fantastic strength. In 2012, Matt became an Olympic silver medalist and he holds a world record…
How is it possible that a man without arms holds a world record in a sport for the “armed”? Matt’s legs and feet are nearly every bit as nimble as the average man’s arms and hands, but are two — or perhaps three — times as strong. So, Matt can shoot more arrows in practice than your average archer without getting tired, use a greater level of resistance on his compound bow when shooting, and hold his aim steadier than, well, anyone on the planet.
Consider this: Matt’s greatest weakness, when analyzed in a new light, is also his greatest strength.
Seeking to find your strengths? Sometimes the best place to start is in your weaknesses.