Powerlifting LAD Bravely Stops Hiding His Disability After 17 Years
If you have a disability, it can be incredibly difficult to share that with the people you most trust, never mind the entire world. So massive respect to this LAD for putting his fears behind him.
Bodybuilder and YouTuber Chris Ruden has developed an impressive career as a successful powerlifter and motivational speaker, hiding a congenital birth defect in his left hand by wearing a glove.
Now Chris has opened up to his fans about his struggles with his disability, removing his hand from its glove on video for the very first time. The moment occurs at the 2mins 25secs point of the video below:
"Many people have heard my story - I was born with two fingers on my left hand and a shorter left arm - but this is the first time that people are seeing my story," says Chris in the video.
"I teach people about overcoming limitations but this is one of those limitations that I've swept under the rug for myself and I've hidden from everyone else and myself - and I can't any more."
In the incredible 13-minute video, uploaded to YouTube, Chris sheds his social media image to reveal the confidence issues caused by his disability.
He outlines how his problems started in middle school, when a girl he had a crush on made fun of him in class with a stapler, comparing him to 'some sort of crab'.
The embarrassment Chris felt from that point then on led him to hide his hand in his pocket for the entirety of middle school.
"It was literally to the point where I would almost cry in school if I would put my backpack on and then put my hand in my pocket over my backpack strap," he explains.
"Because then I would freak out - I couldn't take my backpack off because I refused to take my hand out of my pocket."
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Since then Chris has kept his hand in a glove, with people widely accepting his decision to wear it - and to continue hiding his hand from view.
However, he has now broken the cycle, even showing his hand to his girlfriend for the first time on the day that he filmed the video. Good on you, Chris.
"The main reason I'm doing this is - yes, to get comfortable with myself, but to break that last barrier, that hardest barrier that I've faced, to help anyone that's struggling with something similar," he explained.
Yesterday Chris' girlfriend shared his video on Reddit, attracting widespread praise from both disabled and non-disabled people.
"As someone with a similar birth defect, this really hit home," one commenter said.
"This dude is the man!" another Redditer said. "He has obviously conquered way bigger hurdles than I have and it sounds like he is conquering the last one now! He can surely be proud."
Chris is already a very impressive guy, and will surely gain even more respect from his decision to be 'real' for the first time.
Every one of us has problems. Hopefully this one LAD's remarkable video will show that being human is nothing to be ashamed of.
Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Chris Ruden