Tuesday 12 October 2010


Do you ever hear those stories that make you suddenly feel lazy, unappreciative and downright average? [Aren’t you glad I search them out for you?] On the positive side, this one is truly incredible and hopefully will inspire all of us to get off our *sses and go do something that scares us, or seems out of our reach. For those of you that already are, stop gloating. 

There is a contestant who has reached the finals of China’s Got Talent named Liu Wei– I must admit, it amuses me to no end that this show has gone global – this contestant is not just an amazing pianist, he is extraordinary actually. Why, you ask? Cause the boy plays with his feet having lost both his arms. I shall say it again for those of you barely paying attention - he plays with his FEET. Feeling appreciative for what you have yet? I can barely walk on mine correctly let alone figure out how to play Chopin with my pinky toes.

Liu lost both his arms when he was ten years old after accidentally touching a high voltage cable when he was playing hide and seek. Just that sentence makes me clutch the King and get all weepy. After becoming incredibly forlorn and depressed – rightfully so - he thankfully found music, specifically the piano. The problem was, he couldn’t find a teacher who would take him on due to his condition. Apparently music teachers in China can’t think outside the box. Finally he found a man, an amputee himself, who not only taught him the basics on how to get along in life as an amputee, but he gave Liu the courage to take on the piano.

So like any resourceful young man, he didn’t let the fact that he did not have arms stop him, he had toes and those would have to do;  At first it wasn’t so easy being that his big toe was wider than the keys. But after figuring out that if he positioned his body just so, he could angle his toes and actually play. [I think that fact alone should be a mantra for the rest of us when we start whining that we can’t do something cause we don’t have the time or skills to carry it out]. Next time I take my post pregnancy butt jogging round the park, I shall whisper 'piano-feet, piano-feet,' every time I feel like stopping. That should do it.

And now of course he’s reached the finals and his story has gained attention throughout China and the world. I’m not a fan of any of these shows, as you know, but if it shines the light on people like Liu, then I can see my way clear to see them as an occasional positive.

I’m going to go and try to stir my coffee with my feet. I suddenly feel very unproductive.
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