Chris Koch is a motivational speaker, farmer and professional adventurer who was born without legs or arms, but doesn’t let that stop him from living a normal life. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

WATCH: Motivational speaker tells Sylvan Lake students nothing should stand in their way

Chris Koch told the students of H.J. Cody, if I can do it, so can you.

Being born without arms or legs has not stopped motivational speaker Chris Koch from living life to the absolute fullest, so nothing should stand in anyone’s way.

That was the message Koch delivered to staff and students at H.J. Cody Tuesday morning.

As a motivational speaker, farmer and “professional adventurer” Koch wanted to impart that there is no reason not to try.

“There are often two things that hold people back from whatever it is they want to do or try; perspective and fear of failure,” Koch said.

The most important thing a person can do in their life is change their perspective and how they perceive things, according to Koch.

He said by looking at the world with an ‘I can’ mentality rather than an ‘I can’t’ everything opens up and nearly anything is impossible.

“Because my parents looked at me like a regular kid, and treated me that way, I am a very independent person. I can do anything you can do, it just might take me a little longer,” said Koch.

“If I can do it, why can’t you?”

He told the audience looking at the world in a positive way can change not only your day, but the day of another.

If you are ashamed or uncomfortable with the way you look, then you are missing out on life because you are too worried about the small stuff, according to Koch.

The best solution is to not care how you look.

“If you’re worried about how you look, you’re cheating yourself out of opportunity, that is something I truly believe.

“If I was worried about how I looked I wouldn’t have done more than half the stuff I have,” said Koch, who added a story about the second time he gone cage diving with sharks in Australia.

His second point to the staff and students of H.J. Cody was to not be afraid of failure, as it is part of life.

He said failure should be embraced as the learning experience it is.

“If you don’t fail at something, you don’t learn, you didn’t try.”

He reminded everyone that sometimes success only comes through failure, but no one would ever get there unless they tried.

The presentation was sponsored by the Rotary Club and the H.J. Cody Interact Club.

Bonnie Ganske said the message presented was one everyone should hear, and hoped it hit home for the students.

“It was motivating for sure,” said Ganske, “and I think really a good message for the students to hear.”

Ganske said the message of no limitations should encourage and inspire the high school students.

“If Chris can do all that just imagine what they can do,” Ganske said.

For the Interact Club’s Co-President Sadie Jeffries, the message is one she will take to heart.

She said after listening to his presentation she will try to live each day to the fullest and to not be afraid to try.

In particular she wants to try to always have a good outlook on life and the world.

“I liked when he said, ‘what you put into life it give back’. It just makes you think about your everyday interactions,” said Jeffries.

Koch travels the world giving motivational talks and speeches, when he is not back at home helping out at the family farm in Nanton, Alta.

More about Koch and his movement If I Can, can be found at www.ifican.ca.


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Chris Koch shows the students of H.J. Cody that he can still use a smart phone the same as everyone else, despite having no hands to hold or type. He said using his phone is one of his favourite things to show others. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

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