If we ever needed proof that physical disabilities are nothing more than a temporary obstacle to be defeated with optimism and perseverance, Ben Jackson is here to give us just that….and MORE.
The 20 year old athlete from Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania is an avid wrestler and currently training to add successful international weightlifter to his list of accomplishments.
Did we mention he has spastic cerebral palsy? His condition is a movement disorder that comes from increased muscle tone, resulting in stiff muscles and awkward movements.
Jackson’s spirit is the focus of Gatorade’s new advertisement, aptly titled “Ben Jackson, Never Finished.” In the clip, which can be found below, Ben drops some invaluable wisdom on us, saying “I think in life people wait for challenges to come to them. But when you’re born with a challenge, you learn how to overcome that from day one.”
And overcome he has. After proving doctors wrong by merely surviving (they told his mom to just let him die as he would be too much of a burden), Jackson went on to continue to defy the odds, learning to walk, run and even ride a bike. By the seventh grade, he developed a love for wrestling and with sheer grit and determination went from not winning a single match in his first year of competition to to receiving multiple awards for his success and courage in the sport.
Now a college student, Jackson has set his sights on international weightlifting. We’re sure that Jackson will again find a way to make a name for himself in his new found sport.