• Ronald Kern

Trandon Mechling becomes Global Ambassador for Limbitless

It was October 19, 2019, and the Limbitless Challenge Table Rock Ascent was scheduled to take place. Unfortunately, or as you will find out fortunately, the event was canceled due to rain making the trail dangerous. The event has been rescheduled for April 25, 2020, and you can learn more by clicking here.

With the rain coming down and as gusty winds swirled around us, a van pulled up and was met by Angie and Leonard Mechling, the parents of Trandon. Angie relayed that even though they received notification that the event was canceled, Trandon was adamant on coming out and wanted to meet us. Who was this guy that wanted to brave the elements knowing the event was canceled?

As we hovered around their van door, one to see him and two to stay warm, Trandon was sitting in his wheelchair and greeted us with what we would soon learn, is a pretty constant smile on his face. It would have been so much easier in countless ways to just stay home, but he wasn't about to do that, so here we were.

He started talking about what he has done and what he plans on doing and all of which embodies what Limbitless stands for and promotes. We were intrigued by not only his attitude but his eagerness to help others "get up, get out, and get going."

He has traveled to Australia, spent time with well-known athletes, both adaptive and non-adaptive, remains active, and has even competed and completed Spartan races! That sounds amazing enough but what you may not realize is he is in a wheelchair due to Cerebral Palsy.

"For those of you curious to know what cerebral palsy is, lists the following: While Cerebral Palsy is a blanket term commonly referred to as “CP” and described by loss or impairment of motor function, Cerebral Palsy is actually caused by brain damage. The brain damage is caused by brain injury or abnormal development of the brain that occurs while a child’s brain is still developing — before birth, during birth, or immediately after birth. Cerebral Palsy affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture, and balance. It can also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and oral motor functioning.

In Trandon’s case, he had lost most of his motor function in both his arms and legs and had very little fine motor function in his hands and fingers. His brain was still very sharp as he was very quick-witted with the jokes and very vocal about what he wanted during his time on the course." (taken from below article)

Everyone that was present enjoyed Trandon's stories about his experiences and his personality and positive attitude is super contagious. Spend 5 minutes with him and you'll want it to be 5 hours.

My wife Lisa and I sat down with him and his mother Angie a couple days later at a coffee shop, as he had some ideas. Trandon is never short of ideas and thus far in all aspects, he is putting others first. How can he help others, how can he promote a wheelchair, how can he make a difference for others, it's a very admirable trait.

Trandon relayed that during a Spartan race he not only was carried through chest high water but how he also went over fire. I told him that sounded a bit intense and even if there wasn't any water or fire, I could never personally complete a Spartan. Trandon's response was not only accurate but instantly put me in my place, which was, "Ron, This is what I'm going to tell you, you just need to change your mindset." I'm often the one trying to motivate and help others, but he had reversed the roles and I replied, "You are right."

He and Angie went on to discuss how his GRIT Freedom Chair has changed his life. Trandon explained how the chair works, showed us pictures, and said that he has been trying to get these chairs to Idaho as it would help so many others. You see, Trandon doesn't just sit idly by and wait for things to happen, he makes them happen. He is in contact with the Director of GRIT, Michael Halpert, and I'm guessing you know what Trandon did next. He connected us with Michael and that gleaned a partnership in bringing these amazing all-terrain chairs to Idaho. You can learn more about this partnership by clicking here.

Trandon's attitude and leading by example is 100% of what Limbitless is all about. Part of our mission is, " help adaptive people take an active role in gaining a more positive and proactive approach to life through the exploration of sports and physical activity." If that hadn't been written 5 years ago you would have thought we wrote it shortly after meeting Trandon.

While he and his parents visited our Back Forty Farm and Ranch, he told me that he wanted to accept our offer for being our Global Ambassador. Lisa and I were super excited to hear that and know that his efforts, leading by example, and positive attitude will inspire countless thousands to do more, to do what they never thought possible.

Switching gears to provide yet another example of moving past fear and having the go for it attitude, we toured the farm and showed him our eleven therapy horses that we use for NeuroBalanced, located on our property. These are 1,000+ pound animals and if you have been up close to one before, consider Trandon's vantage point. Our horses are trained for therapy and are gentle, but they are animals and anything could happen.

At first Trandon wasn't too keen on getting close to the gate, but after a little bit of time and seeing his parents inside the arena, he moved closer. I asked him if he wanted to go in and he responded with a pretty firm "no." I leaned over to him and said, "Trandon, you just need to change your mindset."

While Lisa and I were showing Angie and Leonard some techniques we use, Trandon called me over. I walked up to the gate and he asked, "What do you think would happen if I rolled into the arena with the horses?" I replied that there was only one way to find out. Trandon overcame his fear and not only got close, but a couple of horses really took an interest in him, which happens a lot with equine therapy, the horse picks you, not you picking the horse.

Trandon overcoming his fear

The day and conversation was incredible, and his parents are absolutely amazing people. He exemplifies courage, a positive attitude, and always thinks of others. That combination is not seen often in people, especially for those in his condition, and we can all learn a great deal from him. Lisa and I are blessed and excited to have him involved with Limbitless, and everyone on our board has been super supportive and are quite excited. The future is going to be epic.

Lisa Kern, Trandon Mechling, and Ronald Kern

Please consider following him on Facebook and Instagram...he's kind of a big deal. :-)

A wonderful story complete with pictures about his Spartan race can be viewed here.

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