Clay Dyer is a champion of life with a pure, honest, and open personality. His passion is evident when he speaks of his love of life and his love for fishing.
And not a hint of self pity or defeat exists in his words. Why is this remarkable? Dyer was born without legs, no left arm, and only a partial right arm. Yet he has achieved both outward success and inner acceptance, something even the most able-bodied people struggle with on a daily basis.
Dyer is a remarkable man with superior leadership skills and an unparalleled zest for life, as is documented in the inspirational book The View From Down Here is Just Fine: Clay Dyer on Life, No Limbs, and Fishing by Scot Loney.
“If I Can, You Can”
Clay Dyer began his inspirational life journey in Hamilton, Alabama in the late seventies. His love for fishing began at the age of five, and by 15 he was entering and winning competitive fishing tournaments. Not allowing any physical difference stop him from succeeding, Dyer ensured then as he does today that everything he achieves as a fisherman is done without special equipment. His casting, reeling, and knot-tying rivals that of any other champion fisher. Dyer currently fishes with the extremely competitive FLW tour, where he gives all his competitors a hard-fought competition.
As a motivational speaker, Dyer shares encouraging words to businesses, organizations, and individuals across the country. He also serves as the national spokesperson for CAST For Kids, a national charity with a mission to provide for disabled and disadvantaged kids outdoor experiences they might not otherwise have. Dyer also works with the United States Sportsman Alliance as a fishing guide for disabled and terminally ill children.
TeamDyer is an organization that was started consisting of all of Dyer’s supporters and sponsors. This organization works to help Dyer spread his infectious message and personality with the hopes of achieving in others what he has easily embraced as his own life’s mission: “If I can, you can.”
The following is a transcription of Dyer talking about himself and his involvement with C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation.
Living His Childhood Dream
Hello! My name is Clay Dyer. While I would like to be with you in person, unfortunately my schedule has not permitted it. I’m currently on the road for a better part of the year.
For those of you who may not know me, I’m one of the very blessed few who gets to actually live their childhood dream. I’m a professional fisherman on the FLW tour and series. And I get to compete against the world’s best bass fishermen. What’s more is that I hold my own in the competition. On my way up the fishing ranks, I’ve been very blessed to win more than 25 tournaments.
When I’m not fishing you can generally find me traveling the country providing motivational and inspirational speeches to corporations, civic organizations, and churches.
I even have my own fan club! My fan club now extends from coast to coast in the United States, and has members in Canada and Australia. I’m humbled by the number of people who are cheering for me and the reach of my message.
I’ve appeared on ESPN, FSN, CNN, and many regional broadcasts. Articles about me have appeared in USA Today, Bass Master Magazine, FLW Outdoors, and countless local papers. I even have my own biography!
Achieving the Possible from the Impossible
I’m not telling you this in an attempt to impress you. That’s not what I’m about. I’m telling you this to help you see in others and yourself what is possible.
For you see, I was born in a very small town in rural Alabama. I was born to a family of modest means, and I was born without limbs. I have no legs, and I have no left arm. I have only half of a right arm with no hand.
What I do have is a heart, a mind, and a soul, the true essentials for a successful life.
You see, I am where I am today because I refuse to be defined by my circumstances, and because of the people in my life who dared to imagine what could be possible for me.
Dare to Imagine
I’ve made it my mission in life to encourage others to apply these two principles in their lives. I don’t know what circumstances you may be facing in your life, and I’m not going to pretend that my circumstances are more trying than yours. What I do know is that there are very few things a professional fisherman had rather not give up than hands. Hands are essential for tying on baits, feeling when a fish bites, casting, reeling, and driving a boat.
It would have been very easy for me to let my circumstances of not having any hands preclude me from following my dream of becoming a professional fisherman. It also would have been very easy for those around me to completely disregard the possibility.
Fortunately for me, however, my family, my friends, and my community were willing to dare to imagine what could be possible for me. I’m also fortunate that I learned at an early age to focus on the resources that I did have rather than the ones that I didn’t have. This focus is what enabled me to find a way to tie on fishing baits, cast a rod, reel in a fish, and drive a boat.
Do Not Let Circumstance Define Who You Are
As you go through life you will be confronted with circumstances beyond your control. That’s just the nature of life. Those circumstances can seem insurmountable. I encourage you though to remember in those sort of occasions that you are not defined by your circumstances, but rather how you address them.
Also, as you go through life you will encounter people who seem to be handicapped or disadvantaged. They, like you, will be defined not by their circumstances but how they address them.
I can tell you that the best thing you can do for them is to dare to imagine what may be possible and to help them achieve it.
Remember, if I can, you can.
CAST for Kids
In conclusion, I want to take just a few moments to thank each of you who are here for your contributions for C.A.S.T. for Kids. It’s been one of my life’s greatest honors to be named your national spokesperson. This organization perfectly exemplifies the two principles I’ve just discussed.
I now you’re all busy. And I know at times you probably wonder if what you’re doing for these kids is really making a difference. I’m living proof that it does. Your concern, your effort, your times means more than you could ever know.
I’m excited about the year to come, and I look forward to helping you further the mission of C.A.S.T. Keep up the good work!
Now, if you excuse me, I’m going to go catch some more fish.
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