I’ve got some things in common with Natalie du Toit, a South African athlete competing in this year’s Olympics. We’re both swimmers. And we’re both amputees.
That’s where the similarity ends. Du Toit swims every 1,000 meters of her ten-kilometer race far faster than I can swim 500 meters on a good day. And she lost her left leg from the knee down after a motorcycle accident; a bout of Group A Strep I suffered nearly twelve years ago cost me all ten of my toes–a far less significant handicap. (Even when I had my toes, I didn’t get much thrust out of my kick.)