Itold one of my favourite stories, just a few days ago, about that early morning in 1991 when Alvin Law first stepped into my house. Always looking for adventure, Alvin spotted a rowing machine in my den.
“Oh, wow,” he exclaimed. “A rowing machine. I’ve never been on one of these. Until now.”
Alvin dropped his black leather coat, sat comfortable on the seat and started pumping the foot pedals. Only the pedals.
Alvin was born without arms because of a drug, which would later be banned, given to pregnant women called thalidomide. He drives — both a vehicle and a motorboat. So a rowing machine? No problem.
Alvin amazingly kept his balance and pedaled for a good minute, with the oars on the side of the machine going back and forth by themselves We laughed, and giggled at his new adventure.
But we also were reminded of the fun we can enjoy when we are creative and willing to try almost everything.
How ironic that I shared Alvin’s adventure a day before he blew up the internet with a 7-1/2 minute video posted by The Daily Goalcast, a website that shares inspirational stories from around the world.
The video, entitled You’re Not Your Label, was posted Friday afternoon on Facebook. As of 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon, the video had more than 7.5 million views. In addition, Alvin has received 200 messages about the video in less than 24 hours.
Overwhelmed? Absolutely. And he didn’t see this coming.
“To be honest, Goalcast found us,” Alvin said Saturday afternoon in his cottage on Crystal Lake, Sask., an hour’s drive north of Yorkton, his hometown. “The video was sent to them by someone who saw me speak at a Boys’ and Girls’ Club in Kelowna and Goalcast, somehow, saw it.”
Alvin had been speaking about his life, and the people who have opened doors which became opportunities, since 1981. He estimates he’s given 5,000 presentations around the world.
“I’d say about 4,000 of those have been school classes,” Alvin said.
His signature act is at the end of his show when he sits down and plays a snare drum, holding his drumsticks between his toes, and banging down on the canvas with his legs.
And before he drums, Alvin uses his toes and feet to play the piano.
His wife of 25 years, Darlene, who runs his speaking business from their Calgary home, was contacted by Goalcast and was asked to send pictures of Alvin as a child and a young man.
“It really didn’t take any of our time to produce the video,” said Alvin.
Now, 58, he says he has no interest in retirement but is getting “A little tired of the travel.”
Then, in the next breath, he says he is driving from his cottage for 12 hours for a one-hour presentation in Minneapolis.
“Driving is faster, if you can believe it, than flying.”
Alvin and I first met in 1990. I’ve heard him speak countless times, and every time I do, he teaches me something new.
Like he did Saturday. Thank you, my friend.
HERE’S THE GOALCAST VIDEO
PLEASE CLICK -BELOW FOR ALVIN’S WEBSITE