Ilana Hart May 01, 2021
I’m Natalie Bieule, Mom, Paralympian and Motivational Speaker. I lost a leg at a very young age. I had dreams and aspirations of becoming a dancer. It took me a while to realize that God had other plans for me and I ended up throwing Discus at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Passionate about inclusion
I work with Gateway to Gold, a nonprofit organization that helps children with some type of impairment to continue their training and passion for sports and hopefully make Team USA one day. They first have to make it to the Junior Olympics, and once they reach age 16, they can compete in the Paralympics.
Sports is an incredible gateway for children to deal with stress, learn teamwork, set goals, and just overall be successful in life. I honestly believe that sports is a great coping mechanism for children who feel different, and helps them feel somewhat included. If I meet a young kid who is feeling down or upset about his/her impairment I simply remind them that their life can continue on like a person without impairments.
I have dealt with my own issues missing a leg and I am still dealing with them, but after my daughter got diagnosed with autism I became even more passionate about inclusion.
Shining her light on the next generation
I love speaking to kids and showing them what I am capable of and that the only limitations I have are the ones I set on myself. So, come one day that they meet a kid who’s missing a leg, missing an arm, or is even on the autism spectrum, they will understand that even if another child is different, this doesn’t make them any less important or unique.
In the society that we live in today, where it’s all about status and looks, I like to think that I shine a light on the future generation, showing them what is really important. True beauty is so much more than skin-deep. I dream of my daughter always being included and never being left out. She has extraordinary capabilities and I never want her to be afraid to shine her light unto this world. So I do what I do for her.
Training others with disabilities
I speak at schools; well, now through Zoom. I meet new patients and help them with their new journey into the prosthetic world. I enjoy showing people with impairments how they can modify different exercise’s according to their impairments. I teach coaching seminars to help coaches train athletes with a disability. I belong to a group that is called CrossroadsAAA and we travel to different CrossFit affiliates or gyms and give these courses to coaches or even athletes.
But, my number one passion is always to be a mom first. I stay healthy and active for my two daughters, and always show them that if mom can do something with one leg, there is nothing they can’t do with two.
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