To be born without hands and legs would make most people discouraged and demotivated in life. But what people with limbs could not achieve, Chris Koch has done without it.
The story has links connected way back to a joke Chris’ grandma made right after his birth. Chris was born without limbs to his parents, and when the news traveled to Chris’ grandma a few hours later, she immediately cracked a joke about Chris’ father, Bruce.
“Bruce never did finish anything he started,” she quipped. It might sound politically incorrect and insensitive to say something like that, But Chris credits his grandma’s response for setting the tone for whatever he has been able to achieve in his life.
“I attribute that dry and quirky sense of humor as the reason why I can honestly say that growing up without arms and legs was quite easy,” Chris said.
Chris Koch grew up in Nanton, Alberta, a small farming and ranching community in Canada.
His childhood was a normal one as he was raised as a kid with no disability. His family loved and accepted him just as God made him. They believed in him and never allowed pity for him in their hearts.
“If you tell somebody something enough times, they’ll start to believe it,” Chris explained. “If I told you your whole life that you’re worthless and you’ll never amount to anything, you’re going to start feeling worthless and you’re not going to amount to anything. I was never told that I couldn’t do something; if I wanted to learn how to snowboard or play soccer, it was always, ‘Oh yeah, let’s try it’.”
He grew up playing sports and going to school like other kids, and he was expected to get good grades and also help around the house and on the farm.
“Life was pretty normal,” Chris Koch said. “Sure, I had to do things a little differently and maybe took a little bit longer to complete tasks. But I was determined to be just like the rest and I was always treated just like the rest.”
The first time I was ever on a combine or a tractor was with this guy… my grandpa Tom. Without a doubt, my love of farming and agriculture came from him.
Thank you for everything grandpa.
As a result of his-never-say-die attitude he began receiving invitations to share his short inspirational story with others. It was humble beginnings with invitations from local schools and rotary clubs, but it was getting clear that God had a purpose for him in life.
He soon began traveling all over as a motivational speaker, moving into a type of full-time ministry. When he is not working on the farm, Chris is encouraging others.
He says, it all revolves around his “If I Can” motto.
“If a guy without arms or legs can snowboard, surf, work on a farm and travel the world, anybody can do anything,” he explains. “It’s a mindset.”
Too often the devil tells us lies that ‘we are not good enough’ or ‘we cannot do it’ but we can take inspiration from the life of Chris and that if he can, then what’s holding us back from achieving our goals.
Chris says. “Don’t look back on life saying, ‘I wish I would have done this.’
He adds, “You learn a lot from your mistakes,” he says. “You fall down and pick yourself up, dust yourself off, figure out what you need to do for yourself to prevent that from happening again and give it another go.”
What an inspirational story for us to learn so much from. I believe God raises up people like Chris Koch and Nick Vujicic to be examples to us that there are no limitations in life and we can succeed no matter what.