The Rio Olympics came and went with many remarkable stories, which swept me away, just like everyone else. But this story, well, I’m beyond tears. Meet Steve Alexy.

Video and feature image courtesy YouTube

As a mom of children with disabilities who has recovered from Guillain Barre Syndrome twice, this doesn’t just give me the feels, it’s what we fight for every day in our house.

I can imagine all the things his doctors told his parents when he was a child. All the limitations. Yet, here he is, 41 years later, rocking it on the Paralympic stage.

According to this article on Rare Disease Report, Alexy started body building because:

His motivation was that he wanted to prove to people a physical disability shouldn’t define someone and limit their potential, and also he just wanted to do something that was unique and different.

I’ve been pouting lately because my normally slow running pace has slowed considerably from the norm, and there are turtles out there passing me by. I’ve been discouraged because of some setbacks accompanying the start of school for my youngest son, and have had some complications of my scoliosis fire up again. I’ve been feeling sorry for myself. 

Mr Alexy, thank you. You have pulled me out of my doldrums and reminded me of what’s important. Your vision and persistence has reminded me that my goals aren’t limited to this day or this week, rather, they’re long-term, big picture goals. Mr Alexy, I would like to shake your hand, on behalf of myself, my children, and everyone else who has ever let setbacks and limitations define them. You are raising the bar sir, reminding us of what is important, the heart, the ambition, the drive, the desire. You are the real deal sir, and I am honored just to watch you perform.

Alethea Mshar

Alethea Mshar is a mother of four children; an adult child who passed away of a drug overdose, one typical daughter and two sons who have Down syndrome, one of whom has autism spectrum disorder and complex medical needs. She has written "What Can I Do To Help", a guide to stepping into the gap when someone you know has a child diagnosed with cancer, which is available on Amazon, and is publishing a memoir titled, "Hope Deferred". She can be found on Twitter as leemshar, and blogs for The Mighty HuffPost as Alethea Mshar, as well as her own blog, Ben's Writing Running Mom on She is also on Facebook as Alethea Mshar, The Writing, Running Mom.