Recently Olds High School students attended an If I Can presentation at the TransCanada Theatre that was put on by Chris Koch from Nanton, Alta., a man born without arms and legs.
Koch rolled his way across the stage on his skateboard, telling students that there is nothing stopping them from doing the things they want to do in life.
Koch spends a lot of time travelling around the world on his own. He enjoys going to other countries and being able to live the example he tries to set.
“I love travelling, I want to (visit) as many countries as I can and collect as many experiences as I can,” said Koch.
One of the ways Koch connects with audiences is through humour, which is something that he has practised by trying stand-up comedy.
“I’ve compiled all of the stories I’ve used in presentations that have gotten the best laughs and reactions and worked them into a 10- or 15-minute set,” Koch said.
Koch has been presenting since he was in middle school. At first it was at local schools and service clubs.
“I was also very involved with the War Amps Child Amputee program, doing presentations for them,” said Koch. “I’ve been doing it for a long time and it grew fairly organically.”
Koch has been doing his If I Can presentations as a full-time job for seven years. He goes to large conferences, schools and charity events.
For Koch his favourite aspects of the presentations aren’t the big reactions and laughs but the smaller moments that he shares with people when they ask him questions and engage in conversation.
“I love all of it; I love the travel, I love doing the presentations and the laughs, but when you can have a group come up afterwards and talk to you and say how much they appreciated it (that’s special),” said Koch.
“One time a girl came up and told me about how she can’t cry or sweat and said that it was really cool to see somebody with something that’s different — just make the best of it,” Koch recalled.
Looking to the future, Koch is aiming to continue travelling as much as he can and may even do skydiving, but also he wants to present more internationally.
“I just want to keep growing what I’m doing, and hopefully be more recognized internationally, travel to speak and speak to travel,” said Koch.