- Scott Rigsby’s legs…with him in them.
A mother and daughter waited anxiously for their autographed copy during the book siging. They were greeted warmly by Scott Rigsby, with familiarity, warmth. I stepped up to help take a photo of the three of them. As I snapped, Scott said “You may want to back up a little.” I asked why, noting that it was a lovely close up, all smiles.
Scott said nothing, just smiled, gave a little shake of his head. It took a beat, but I caught on.
It’s all about the legs. The close up didn’t show the legs. They had come because of the legs. The book was about the journey of losing legs, gaining legs, using legs. Swimming legs, biking legs, running legs. Walking legs. Sweaty legs. Bloody legs. Broken legs.
That’s how I first encountered Scott. In 2007 I was racing in honor of my brother-in-law (Mike) and raising money for the MIF. Just three months off knee surgery and with one herniated disk acting up I was pretty uncomfortable. St. Anthony’s was more of a limp than a walk. The song in my head:
I would walk a thousand miles. A thousand miles, it’s true. I would walk a thousand miles just to be with you. Well you’ve got my heart and you’ve got my soul and you’ve got this promise, too. I would walk a thousand miles just to be with you.
All the while I wondered if I was doing more “bad” than good. Was I really doing anything for Mike? Was I injuring myself even more? Crap. Toe hurts. Think I’m losing a toe nail. One thousand miles…blood in shoe. Yup. Toe nail gone.
I looked up, out of myself and saw a man holding on to a tree. Handsome guy, just hanging out, holding up a tree. I looked down to see that someone was duct taping his legs…one foot back together…the other leg, back on to his body. “Tough day?” I asked, knowing that this guy would kill for a bloody toe-nail. He smiled a little, gave a little shake of his head, laughed. I finished my race, counting my blessings (as well as my good toe-nails) along the way.
For as much as I’ve told that story, I’ve thought of it more often. It’s funny how such a brief moment can carry so much weight, how a glance can cause “someone” to be permanently imprinted on your brain.
In Ironman Florida 2008 I saw the smile and the laughing eyes as I walked into the night.
When a fellow athlete buckled and fell with cramping, I knew I could help. I smiled as I put my own “duct tape” on their “broken legs”.
As I bent to help someone change their shoes, I gave a little nod and “taped” them on, good and tight.
When I saw the cover of Scott’s book a smile quickly came to my face; I recognized him immediately.
His legs are mere vehicles; they get him from one place to the next. They help him get His work done. Some of us have a vision and we find our vehicles. Some get vehicles and discover a new vision. From that we either sit and dream…or get up and make it our mission.
What’s your duct tape? Who’s taping you up, helping to hold you together? How are you using the tools and the vehicles in your life?
The book is UnThinkable by Scott Rigsby. It’s published by our friends at Tyndale House, so if you need a little duct tape, I’m sure there will be some spare! I haven’t read the book yet, but of this I’m sure…
…it’s not always about the legs, Scott!