ST. LOUIS (KSDK)- At Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club this week, kids got an education in determination.
"The hardest thing that I had to figure out was just to accept myself, "said Kyle Maynard while talking to a classroom full of attentive students.
Maynard may look like he has a disability but it's his ability that's brought him here today.
"There's unlimited creative potential for human beings in this life, "he said.
Born with a rare condition known as congenital amputation, Kyle's parents made a decision when he just a baby.
"They said we're just going to treat Kyle the same. Like any other kid, "he explained.
He may not have arms or legs but since then Kyle Maynard's motto has been no excuses.
With a passion for sports, he pushed himself to play football in high school and to become one of the top wrestlers in the country.
"For the first 35 matches I wrestled in, I lost every single match, "he recalls.
But by his senior year he made it all the way to nationals and finished among the top 12 in his weight class.
However, it's what he did in 2011 that not only defied the odds, it defied belief.
He became the first quadruple amputee to climb Mount Kilimanjaro without the aid of prosthetics.
In other words, he literally crawled up the mountain.
"And I made the decision that no matter how hard it got, no matter how tough it was I was going to keep going no matter what, "he said.
He says now, there were times he wanted to stop but he couldn't because the climb was intended to raise awareness for wounded American military veterans and a team of wounded warriors made the trek with him.
These days he spends some of his time as a motivational speaker telling people to follow their dreams.
"What's the difference between somebody who goes out and does those things and someone who doesn't?, " he asks. " I think a big part of it is that people who don't make excuses about why they can't do it."
And for the kids at Mathews Dickey, even if they don't remember him Kyle Maynard hopes that at least some of them remember his message.
" I don't know what things they're facing but I hope is someway I can go and get in their head and let them know they can do it," he said.