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Meet Matt Stutzman; The Armless Archer

If you have yet to hear the inspiring story of Matt Stutzman, it is one you can't miss.

At times we feel we have the deck stacked against us. For whatever reason we think we've been dealt an unfair hand, and thus fold the cards and commence to complain about the dealer. The trouble is, it's life we're talking about, not a game of cards. I'd have to admit I've been there before myself. Matt Stutzman also had the chance to fold 'em if he wanted to. He was born with no arms, a fact to which there was little reasoning given to his parents. And speaking of his parents, they decided to put the armless infant up for adoption at the age of four months. With a start like that, Matt Stutzman could either give up or dig in. Fortunately for him, his adoptive parents wouldn't let him have any part of the former. It would be digging in for the Iowa farm kid from there on out. Fast forward 29 years. At this time Matt was unemployed and unable to find a job due to his handicap. "Just let me prove to you I can do it." he would tell prospective employers. Nobody took the chance and Stutzman was down on his luck. With a wife and three kids to provide for he began to feel he wasn't pulling his weight around the house. In order to put some meat in the freezer, Stutzman decided to pick up archery and go deer hunting. You can only imagine the obstacles that a guy would face when starting the sport of archery without having arms. He tried Googling for help, but the sometimes all-knowing search engine afforded no hits. Once again Stutzman would have to persevere if he would reach his goals. In order to do so he learned everything he could about archery. He learned about archery gear and archers form and eventually created a system that would fit his needs. [caption id="attachment_6472" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Matt Stutzman Matt Stutzman[/caption] It wasn't long before Stutzman actually had landed some venison in the freezer and was gaining confidence. At this point he had become enamored with his bow and dedicated himself to "become the world's best archer." He practiced for eight hours a day toward that goal and began entering local tournaments. Soon he found himself at the trials for the 2012 London Paralympics games, and guess what; he won, narrowly missing a world record score. From there it was off to London for only his second international tournament. Does this sound like a meteoric rise or what? In 2009 he first picks up a bow, and in 2012 he is competing in the Olympics. Yep. That's meteoric I would say. This week Matt Stutzman will be competing for Team USA in the Rio Paralympics. His goals are set high and only time will tell if he can land some hardware. Check out this brief video that shares Matt Stutzman's stories and shows how this dedicated individual learned to shoot. So next time you think you're down on your luck think about the fortitude and drive of Matt Stutzman. He had more reasons to fold the deck than most people do, yet he kept persevering. His story is not only a great story of archery, but of the human spirit.

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