Discouragement, fear and negative tapes from childhood can often hold us back from fulfilling our purpose and following our passion.  “Can’t” actually can become “can” when a stubborn mindset kicks in, as in the case of Bob Wieland.  Bob was a young soldier in Vietnam whose legs were blown off at the hip while rescuing another soldier. Prosthetic legs were impossible to fit, leaving him with only half of his body.

Bob finished the Los Angeles marathon in 2003, after 173 hours and 45 minutes. It took then 57-year-old Wieland more than one week to cover the more than 26 miles using only his hands while swinging his torso.

Bob was an all-star athlete  well on his way to being a professional baseball player.  Rather than dwelling on his lost baseball career, Bob chose  to focus on the challenges that were ahead. In his words, “I  lost my legs, not my heart.”

Author of One Step  At A Time and a member of the President’s  Council of Physical Fitness and Sports, following are just a few of the AWARDS he has achieved: 1996, Named “The Most Courageous Man in America” by  the NFL Players Association and the Jim Thorpe Foundation; 1994, Voted “One of the Six Most Amazing Americans  in the Past 20 Years” by People Magazine;  1989, U.S. Marine Corps Marathon, “Most Inspirational” Award;  1977-78, California’s Outstanding Disabled American Veteran


  • Strength, flexibility, and motivational coach with the  professional football team Green Bay packers. 
  • Walked across America on his arms in three years, eight  months, six days in 1982-86. 
  • Former 4-time world record holder in the bench press with best lift of 507 pounds.
  • Completed 6,200 mile bike circuit, twice across  America in conjuction with the Congressional Medal of  Honor Society.
  • Completed the New York, Los Angeles, and Marine Corp  Marathons.
  • Only double amputee to complete the grueling Ironman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii.
  • Faculty member, outstanding graduate, and alumnus of  California State University, Los Angeles.

 God, grit and guts can take you wherever you are called to go!  Pursue with passion and don’t let anyone tell you that you “can’t!”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rita Rocker is a national inspirational and educational speaker, communications and image specialist, and a career and virtual presentations coach with Transformation Academy, LLC.  She is the author of “A Guide to Marketing Yourself for Success”, and a contributing author to “The Unstoppable Woman’s Guide to Emotional Well Being -The Total Woman in Leadership and Success Guide for the Unstoppable Entrepreneur.” She has appeared on national television and radio talk shows on self-esteem and communication. A former Mrs. Nebraska and active in numerous professional organizations, Rita is on the Board of the Small Business Association of the Midlands and co-director of greater Omaha’s Affiliated Women International. Rita provides life and career-transforming programs to mature teens and adults. Contact Rita at rita@transformationacademy.com.