By Steve Lundy
Article updated: 2/14/2014 10:49 AM
In the world of sports your legs are everything, but not for 14-year-old Sabik Corhan, who plays football on the freshman team at Schaumburg High School.
Corhan was born with no shin or ankle bones, and at the age of 2 he had both of his legs amputated above the knee. He learned to walk with the aid of prosthetic legs at a young age.
Corhan’s mother, Simone Dorame, said she remembers her son on the playground pulling himself up on things.
“That’s where he got his upper body strength,” said Dorame. “He’s always been resilient. Once he had his (prothetic) legs he wanted to be in everything.”
Dorame was never worried about her son participating in physical activities.
“We would tell the schools, whatever he attempted, let him do it,” Dorame said.
Corhan’s favorite sport has always been football. He became motivated to play the game after watching a YouTube video of someone playing without arms or legs.
When freshman football coach Lenny Jacobs put the word out that he was looking for kids to try out for the team, Corhan showed up to a practice.
“I was talking to a group of (players) and I looked down and saw that he had prosthetic legs,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs informed him he would have to play without his prosthetics for safety reasons. Corhan was OK with that.
“I knew that he was going to do some pretty cool stuff this year with that kind of attitude,” Jacobs said.
Before every game Corhan heads to the training room where his legs are padded and taped up.
“I don’t think of it as a disability,” Corhan said, “I don’t even like to use the word disability. I always give it my best, what ever sport I’m playing. It’s just a small problem for me, there are bigger problems out there.”
Corhan plays defensive tackle. “It’s kind of an advantage, you can just wrap up and you’re already there,” Corhan said.
When Corhan comes up against an opposing team they aren’t sure what to think.
“They kind of go a little easy on me at first,” said Corhan. “Then I give it my best on them and they start going all out on me.”
Dorame’s philosophy with her son is, do it until they say you can’t do it, and even then try to push forward to prove them wrong.
“I think he’s tough,” his mother said.
Corhan wants to play with this group of guys for the next three years.
“It would be a great experience,” Corhan said. They are like family to me.”
A week or so ago I posted this parable. One reader wrote:
Reply by notoriousDUG on February 7, 2014 at 12:38pm
He is crazier than ever today…
He took exception with my having written:
14. The photo-op rider group is about to return to their starting point. But standing in the crosswalk (blocking the bike lane) is a fellow watching you ride towards him. You shout and shake your fists. You cry out “outta my way” you are in the bike lane. As you near him about to shoulder him out of the way, another guy on crutches steps out into the crosswalk and stares you down. You suddenly notice that both men are in camoflagued battle fatigues. Neither of them has legs. Both are wearing purple heart patches. Once again you wonder why people are so anti-cyclists.
How he wondered could they be described as “having no legs” and yet “standing“?
Learning A Lesson From A Child
There can be hope only for a society which acts as one big family, not as many separate ones.
— Anwar El Sadat
Well it seems that the writer of the story above and I are on the same crazed trip into non-reality. But thankfully there is a young person who has the audacity to remind us of what is actually possible. The author writes:
Sabik Corhan had his legs amputated at age 2 after he was born without shin or ankle bones. But that didn’t stop him being an active kid, and now he even plays on the freshman football team at Schaumburg High School. “I don’t think of it as a disability,” Corhan said, “I don’t even like to use the word disability. I always give it my best, what ever sport I’m playing. It’s just a small problem for me, there are bigger problems out there.”
Out of the mouths of babes… Next time I come across an unplowed bike lane or a cop car parked in it, I’ll remember Sabik. And I will repent of ever being an adult who has lost the ability to understand the values of adversity and instead have become a self-absorbed activist whose idea of a Utopian future reveals me at the center of the universe and never having to steer around obstacles.