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THE JOURNEY OF MATT STUTZMAN

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Uploaded on Nov 11, 2011

JA LEDE: EVERY PERSON HAS LIMITATIONS BUT MANY DON'T REALIZE HOW TO USE THIER LIMITATION IN A POSITIVE WAY. THIS IS THE STORY OF MATT STUTZMAN, WHO FROM BIRTH HAD TO WORK AROUND A SETBACK AND NOT LET IT HOLD HIM BACK IN LIFE. HE'S A LOCAL ARCHER, WHO HOLDS THE GUINNESS WORLD RECORD FOR LONGEST SHOT AND HE'S PROVED THAT YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU JUST *CAN* DO.

JA: WITH EVERY PULL OF THE BOW - HIS DREAMS ARE A SHOT CLOSER TO REALITY

MS: I'M STILL STRIVING FOR MY GOAL AND THAT GOAL IS TO BE THE BEST ARCHER IN THE WORLD

JA: A GOAL THAT HAS BEEN CHALLENGING WITH A DISABILITY THAT MANY WOULD THINK LIMITS PHYSICAL ACTIVITY BUT TO MATT, HE PROVED THAT ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, WHICH IS WHY HE TOOK UP ARCHERY

MS: AT SIXTEEN YEARS OLD I BOUGHT MY FIRST COMPOUND BOW WITH MY DAD BECAUSE I WANTED TO GO OUT IN THE WOODS AND GO HUNTING WITH HIM. A YEAR AND A HALF LATER, MY BOW GOT STOLEN AND I DIDN'T HAVE THE FUNDS TO PURCHASE ANOTHER ONE SO I ACTUALLY DIDN'T GET STARTED IN ARCHERY AGAIN UNTIL ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO. TWO YEARS AGO I WANTED TO GO OUT HUNTING AGAIN WITH A BOW AND ARROW SO I PURCHASED ANOTHER BOW. THAT WINTER I WAS BORED TRYING TO FIND SOMETHING TO DO SO I WENT TO A LOCAL ARCHERY TOURNAMENT AND I GOT THE BUG AND TWO YEARS LATER, HERE I AM TODAY

JA: FOUR MONTHS AFTER MATT WAS BORN WITHOUT ARMS, HIS BIRTH PARENTS PUT HIM UP FOR ADOPTION. HE FOUND A NEW FAMILY WITH THE STUTZMANS WHO RAISED HIM TO NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER QUIT, AND NEVER TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER

MS: GROWING UP, MY PARENTS INSTILLED IN ME THE NEVER GIVE UP ATTITUDE. THEY COULD SEE THAT TIMES WERE TOUGH (NOT THAT TIMES WERE TOUGH) BUT THINGS I HAD TO DEAL WITH, ESPECIALLY WHEN I WAS LITTLE, YOU KNOW TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO EAT, OR HOW I WAS GOING TO WRITE MY NAME AND THEM JUST OVER MY SHOULDER TELLING ME FIGURE IT OUT AND NEVER GIVE UP - TRY IT AGAIN - TRY IT AGAIN. IF YOU FAIL, JUST TRY IT AGAIN AND THAT HELPED ME WHEN I GOT OLDER NOW TOO BECAUSE NOW IF I'M TRYING TO FIGURE OUT SOMETHING I JUST KEEP TRYING AND TRYING AND TRYING UNTILL I GET IT FIGURED OUT

JA: LIKE TALKING ON THE PHONE. OR ANSWERING E-MAILS ON HIS COMPUTER. BUT DESPITE MATT'S POSITIVE OUTLOOK ON LIFE, HE DID HIT SOME ROUGH PATCHES GROWING UP.

MS: WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, PROBABLY 18 YEARS OLD IS WHEN I GOT FRUSTRATED WITH LIFE FOR THE FIRST TIME AND THAT'S WHEN I TRIED TO GET MY DRIVERS LICENSE. THAT WAS PRETTY TOUGH. I HAD TO DO A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT THINGS AND I REMEMBER GOING TO DRIVERS ED AND THEY KICKED ME OUT OF DRIVERS ED BECAUSE I HAD NO ARMS AND THEY DIDN'T EVEN GIVE ME A CHANCE TO PROVE THAT I COULD DRIVE SO THAT WAS A REAL HARD TIME FOR ME BUT WHEN I WAS 18, I GOT MY DRIVERS LICENSE AND NOW, ESPECIALLY RECENTLY, THERES NOTHING REALLY THAT HAS COME UP THAT HAS BEEN A HARD TIME FOR ME. I'M JUST DOING MY THING AND LIVING LARGE.

MS: I GO SPEAK TO KIDS AT SCHOOLS, I HAVE A LOT OF KIDS COME UP TO ME AFTERWARDS AND SAY YOU REALLY MOTIVATED ME. I'VE HAD A TOUGH TIME IN MY LIFE AND I SEE YOU, YOU KNOW I THOUGHT MY TOUGH TIME WAS BAD BUT WHEN I SAW WHAT YOUR DOING, AND LIFE'S REALLY NOT THAT BAD ANYMORE. THAT'S THE BEST FEELING EVER, COMPARED TO WINNING A TOURNAMENT.

MS: LIFE IS GOING TO GET TOUGH AND YOUR GOING TO HAVE YOUR HILLS AND UP'S AND DOWN'S AND KEEP ON MOVING FORWARD AND NEVER GIVE UP.

JA TAG: MATT CONTINUES TO TRAIN RIGHT HERE IN IOWA CITY. HE DRIVES FROM FAIRFELD TO IOWA CITY WITH ONE FOOT ON THE PEDALS AND ONE FOOT ON THE WHEEL AND IN EARLY NOVEMBER HE'LL HEAD TO GUADALAJARA, MEXICO TO COMPETE FOR THE PARA UNITED STATES ARCHERY TEAM. AFTER THAT, HIS INCREDIBLE JOURNEY AND QUEST TO BE THE BEST CONTINUES AT THE 2012 LONDON PARALYMPIC GAMES.

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