No limbs, no problem
By STEPHANIE BRUMFIELD / Staff Writer
MONTEVALLO – Clay Dyer remembers being 4 years old and asking his mom, “Why did God make me this way?”
Dyer was born without any lower limbs, no arm on the left side and only a partial arm on the right.
“Mom looked at me with the utmost confidence and belief and said, ‘Son, I don’t know why God made you the way he did, but what I do know is that God doesn’t make mistakes.’”
Dyer, now 35, has since channeled his mom’s confidence into fishing, which he began at age 5. He now travels across the country talking about his experience as a professional angler, fishing in the “major leagues” on the FLW Tour for four years. Dyer spoke to a group at the University of Montevallo Oct. 28.
“I tried prosthetic limbs,” he said. “They slowed me down. This is the way I look at it. It says in the Bible that God made each and every one of us perfect in his own image. It was an act of God that I was made this way. And you know what? I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.”
Dyer has two mottos: “If I can do it, you can do it,” and “Never give up.”
Ever since he was a little kid, Dyer wanted to be a professional athlete. Realistically, he said he knew he would never be drafted into the NFL, but he didn’t let that stop him from achieving his dream.
“I don’t need the hands. I don’t need the legs. I don’t need the feet,” he said. “I’ve got a heart. I’ve got a mind. I’ve got a soul.”
Accomplishing dreams also takes effort, he said. During fishing tournaments, Dyer said he sometimes has to change baits 50-75 times a day to catch fish.
“And guess what I do every time I change a bait. I bleed. I balance the bait on my arm, put the line in my mouth, feel my way through it with my lips and my teeth, I get the loop just right, I put the hook on the end of my hand, I put the line in my mouth and I sink it down tight. It took almost three years to figure out the best way to tie that knot.
“But I’m willing to do that, to bleed, to be able to catch my fish, to be able to live my dream, to be successful,” he said.
Dyer said the resource that drives him is his faith in God.
“That’s what inspires me every day to be a fighter, to be a warrior, to be a champion,” he said. “There is no obstacle and there is no adversity that can defeat you or destroy you unless you let it.”
Dyer’s presentation was hosted by the University of Montevallo and the Campus Ministers Association. For more information, visit Claydyer.net.