Motivational speaker visits HHS students
The students of Highland High School participated in an assembly Jan. 3 where they were able to hear the inspirational story of motivational speaker and world renowned body builder Nick Scott.
Scott made his speech seated from his wheelchair and as he began to share his story, he had the student body full attention.
In August of 1998, Scott said he was traveling along a road when one of his front tires blew. The then 16-year-old was quickly approaching a bridge and began to swerve into oncoming traffic until he realized a woman in her vehicle was approaching him. Without thinking, he redirected, crashing his vehicle into the bridge he had initially tried to avoid.
For the athlete, the result of the accident would change his life forever. Scott said when he awoke, he was informed by doctors that he would never be able to play sports again, would never run or even simply walk again.
He told the students he entered a state of depression after discovering that his friends in school didn’t want to be friends with “Scott and his wheelchair” and was even more devastated to discover his own family had been in discussion about placing him in a home, rather than to continue to care for him.
After finding himself as somewhat of a loner, Scott said he began to gain weight, rising to 300 pounds, something that only made his life more difficult.
“Those negative thoughts affected me in every aspect of my life. From living life, relationships, the gym, and everything I did. It felt like I was starting life over as a new person, but as an infant, because I could barely move with my chest brace on,” Scott said.
Scott sought solace in his beloved high school gym, something that initially proved to serve as a reminder of what he could no longer do, however; he wasn’t ready to give up and discovered that although his legs may no longer work, his upper body did. He set his mind to begin working on himself because he may not be able to do what he once had, but he was going to be the absolute best at what he was capable of.
This was the start of a new way of life for Scott and also the key in his motivational message to the student body. Scott explained what worked for one, may not and generally won’t work for another individual. Being one’s self and striving to be the absolute best and whatever one’s skill set or gift is in his opinion and experience was the key to success.
Scott then began to ask students of various skill sets to raise their hand. “Who in here enjoys dancing,” Scott said.
As students began to raise their hands, he then began to ask questions as to what the students’ specialty areas were proving his point about expertise and hard work.
Over time, Scott remained tenacious and proved to himself and others exactly what he was capable of. Scott told the students they needed to find the ways that worked best for themselves. He gave impact to his example when he told the students he had discovered a way to walk again.
As he stood from his chair and began to take steps he said that although his legs were wasting from the knee down, that he had regained feeling in his quads and through them and the use of leg braces, could feel the vibrations in the floor and therefore could direct his feet to move using the muscles in his quads.
A few carefully placed steps later, Scott lost his balance, but once again, used it as a learning tool for the student body.
Scott said that he had achieved what others had said couldn’t be possible because he believed in himself and worked hard to achieve his goal. He explained the way he walks isn’t, nor will it ever be, the same as someone with the full use of their legs, but also pointed out the part that mattered most to him. That he did in fact, and could in fact, walk.
Now, Scott holds one of the most successful careers in the world of Wheelchair Bodybuilding. His journey has included several films, working with and helping to motivate non and handicapped persons alike and working for Arnold Schwarzenegger as a promoter and trainer and chairmen for the national Arnold Classic Pro Wheel Chair competitions.
Following his presentation, Scott answered questions from the students relating to his life story. He continued to encourage the students to strive for greatness and to take ownership of their life path.