I’m going to introduce you to an amazing person. This person is Jen Bricker. Jen was born without legs due to a genetic defect and abandoned at birth by her biological parents. She was taken in by her adoptive parents and proceeded to have a unique childhood. Many young girls of the 1990s, she grew up loving gymnastics and idolizing Dominique Moceanu. Despite her physical limitations, Bricker went on to build her own successful gymnastics career.
Bricker was raised in Illinois alongside three older brothers by two loving parents so she grew up with the belief that anything was possible. Having no legs, even though, that might deter a person from participating in gymnastics the support and encouragement from her family was incredible. Bricker had impressive athleticism and positive attitude that would propel her in achieving local, national, and in global fame, appearing on the “Maury Show” as a fifth grader on a television program. At the time, she knew she was destined to help inspire others.
The local tumbling gym became a second home for Bicker as a child, and she competed against able-bodied children around the area. She refused to have any special treatment and wanted to retract the save as her peers. While she said she occasionally got stares from opponents in parents, she quickly proved she was just as good, if not better than her competition. Her talent and hard work earned her a fourth place finish at the AAU Junior Olympics in power tumbling as an 11-year-old in a state title as a high school student, among many other titles and awards.
After graduating from high school, Bricker was attending a local community college when she saw a sign on campus for the college program at Walt Disney World. She quickly jumped at that opportunity. She loved the experience in living independently for the first time in her life. She never told her ability to succeed in whatever she chose to do, IN LARGE PART because of her parents and the confidence they instilled in her. Her parents allowed her to be who she was meant to be; not what they wanted her to be. That seems like a simple thing but we can see how that may be very difficult. Furthermore they allowed her to have her own mind so she could have confidence in making her own decisions and that was carrying into adulthood.
She just, ultimately, wants to inspire others with her powerful story of perseverance, positivity, and can stop me attitude. She hopes her message will help anyone regardless of physical limitations or otherwise. I will close this post with saying everyone has gifts and abilities, there is equal power in that. One is not more important than the other. With that equal significance what someone brings to the table is equal and has equal power to change someone’s life. A person’s story may look totally different than my story but it might have the same power to change someone’s life out in this world.
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