FORT WORTH, Texas January 23, 2018 — “Life is a series of challenges” is the creed of Lloyd Bachrach. However, “Embrace life,” and “Face it head on” are part of how this man lives his life as well.
Who is Llyod Bachrach
Bachrach is a motivational speaker, author, Paralympian and entrepreneur who shares his own story of overcoming adversity inspiring others to do the same in their lives.
#LivingForward means embracing life and living it forward. Lloyd Bachrach is a perfect example of someone who does just that. Auntie Mame would be proud.
Challenged from birth
Lloyd was born with a congenital bone deficiency. His parents were encouraged to institutionalize him from birth but they refused. After examining Lloyd the pediatrician told them that the only problem was with his legs. The rest of his body was fine. He believed that Lloyd would find his own way of doing things and would be able to make his own way in the world.
As a result the boy developed strong physical skills at an early age through swimming, baseball and bowling in spite of all that was against him.
In a video on his website Yes You Can he declares,
“I kind of feel fortunate because I’ve never known any different…”
His parents didn’t let him sit around and feel sorry for himself. They got him out in the real world early to show him what he could do and gave him the confidence to set goals and achieve them.
A common path between writer and Lloyd Bachrach
Although we didn’t know each other, Lloyd and I both went to Thornridge High School in Dolton, Illinois in the late 1970’s. It wasn’t uncommon to see him walking down the hall carrying his books in one hand, using a cane with the other.
The only thing I knew about him was that one of his legs was longer than the other and both were too short for his body size.
Oh, and there was also the fact that he was one of the top five men’s high school gymnasts in the State of Illinois. And he did it by competing against able-bodied athletes. Everyone I knew was in awe of him.
Knowing Lloyd Bachrach would go far
While moving to Texas, it was impossible to forget about Lloyd, especially when life got tough for me.
His efforts would come to mind and that would help change my outlook.
Thinking about the concept of #LivingForward and those that embodied the concept, the urge to find Bachrach online was strong. Surely someone who ranked in the top five gymnasts in the state against able-bodied competitors was destined to go far.
What was found is that Bachrach is a motivational speaker using his physical difference to show people they can achieve anything they desire in life.
Somehow I wasn’t surprised.
“Lloyd was one of the top five men’s high school gymnasts in the State of Illinois. And he did it by competing against able bodied athletes.”
The name of his web page is Overcoming Adversity. The titles of his motivational programs are: Yes, You Can, and Diversity in the Workplace, and 50 Ways to Achieve Your Dreams and Desires. He offers a variety of programs that include half day and all day seminars, keynote addresses, and breakout sessions.
Lloyd created these to inspire and motivate others to reach their ultimate potential. But this isn’t all there is.
Lloyd worked on the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for ten years and reached the position of currency speculator. Coaching gymnastics has been a major part of his life too. This includes coaching for the Chicago Park District, girls’ high school gymnastics, and the Special Olympics. He excels at volleyball as well and competed in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics for the US Paralympic sit volleyball squad. In addition to this he is an avid mono-skier and a certified SCUBA diver.
In 2005 Lloyd came up with the idea of inspiring children and young people. #LivingForward, he created Premier Showcase.
“The only limitations we have, are the limitations we place on ourselves” ~ Lloyd Bachrach
This is a website that connects educators and school assembly program directors to talented people who use their gifts to inspire children and teens.
The company’s mission statement reads:
“We firmly believe that early and frequent exposure to the performing arts supports and encourages growth in all developmental areas. That’s why we’re committed to gathering the best available talent in one place — to make it easier for everyone who’s committed to the education and development of our youth.”
Meet Lloyd Bachrach at Chicago’s Premier Showcase
Since its inception, Premier Showcase has become the nation’s leading resource for matching educators with talent.
Premier Showcase hosts a Showcase event near Chicago every September. The gathering includes a “high-energy, one-day exhibition for entertainers, educators, and programs for the youth market.”
For those who attend it’s an opportunity to learn about the top performers in their regions. The performers also get the chance to find new opportunities for their next assembly or school function.
Somehow that is not surprising either.
#LivingForward without limitations
A favorite quote of Lloyd’s is, “The only limitations we have, are the limitations we place on ourselves.” He does not like the word “handicapped.” He came up with his own word to describe himself and others: “Differently-abled.”
And seeing the results of his life gives both differently-abled and able-bodied people wonderful encouragement and great new ways to view life.
With all he has accomplished Lloyd lives a full, well-rounded life. In 1996 he married author and historian Julia Sniderman. They are also the proud parents of two beautiful daughters, Marissa and Paili Rose.
We can’t change our circumstances but we can change our perceptions and expectations about ourselves. And when that happens we can change not only our own little worlds but the whole big world too.
And Lloyd Bachrach is a wonderful teacher and role model to show us how to among those that #LivingForward.
Read more of Claire’s work at Communities Digital News and Greater Fort Worth Writers Group. Join her on Twitter and Facebook