Not every pea in the pod is the same. We were all made differently and if not, things that happen in our lives change us permanently. And sometime this is for the better. Such is the story of Ali Stroker, who was left paralyzed from the chest down as a child.
Many people who suffer the same fate let their wheelchair be who they are. But Ali was determined not to let a couple of wheels take away her identity she had carved out.
At the tender age of 2, Ali was left with a wheelchair but her dreams and aspirations remained. The boost of confidence came from a backyard play in the neighborhood where Ali was casted to play lead in Annie. That was all she needed and she became unstoppable.
Stepping in the world of acting and singing gave her a sense of liberation from the wheelchair and soon she found out so much about herself. She took singing lessons and learned to make magic in melody.
What restored my faith in humanity was learning about her experience while taking dance classes at NYU’s musical theatre program. According to Stroker, all her batch mates were incredibly supportive and open to ideas to working with this challenge. Ali herself was too strong of will to be stopped.
One major accomplishment to another, Ali made history at several points in her life. Her story is nothing short of inspiring and for some, a wakeup call.
Soon enough, the little backyard actress and bathroom singer auditioned for the play Spring Awakening which happens to be a Broadway show originally. The show was produced under Deaf West Productions and most of the cast of the play had trouble hearing.
And in a blink of an eye the tables were turning and soon enough the show was transferred to Broadway. Every actor’s dream.
Now Ali Stroker holds the record of becoming the first actress ever to hit the Broadway stage in a wheelchair and killing it all the same. And guess what? She’s not done yet. She is yet to surprise us all with her unfailing talents in another play, The Vagina Monologue.
Her story and achievements have inspired millions and will continue to do so for a while I believe. And rightly so too. She has spoken on prominent platforms about her success and what keeps her going. Her will is truly admirable.
As a feminist I am really proud of a woman who will stop at nothing. Her story really brings new meaning to the old saying ‘when life gives you lemons…’, you know how it goes.
Really though, if the cruelty of fate could not stop her then what is your excuse? Take inspiration because truly, the only paralysis that’s stopping you from getting what you want most is in your head.