Motivational speaker and Toronto author Spencer West.
Credits: FILE PHOTO
You rolled out of bed an applauded yourself for the effort of getting coffee.
You'll work your own daily grind, give yourself points for taking the stairs, and when you hit the pillow tonight, figure no one could have accomplished more.
But Spencer West thinks you can go higher - that you can push beyond what you thought was your peak.
West, an amputee below the pelvis after being born with non-functioning legs, has travelled around the world asking people to consider extending their reach in life.
In mid-June, the Toronto resident will attempt to - using a wheelchair and then a combination of willpower, arm power and two friends - climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Every year, around 22,000, mostly able-bodied people try to reach Africa's highest summit - famously topped by three volcanic cones, looming 5,895 meters above the African plains.
About half fail, and suffering from altitude sickness, an estimated 1,000 are annually rescued from the trails leading skyward.
But the hopeful make the effort.
And that, said Spencer, is the message of his Redefine Possible mission that will raise money for the international charity Free the Children.
What would happen if you deviated from your normal ascent?
"I'm defiantly not saying that everyone should climb a mountain," cautioned the 31-year-old single, university graduate.
"But look at your day and look at the obstacles that stop you from doing something you should - spending an hour with your kids or an hour meditating."
American-born West, author of Standing Tall: My Journey, lost his lower limbs when he was five years old. But his parents never considered what he couldn't do in life.
"From the moment I was born, my family redefined possible," he said.
He knows there's no way to know if he had been born with healthy legs, if he would have by now joined the ranks of most people who think they'll only accomplish tomorrow what they managed to do today.
But now carrying a message that barriers - the physical ones he deals with and the less definable ones most people face - can be conquered, West said he hopes he's living up to his speeches that insist people can do more for themselves and more for society.
Hoping to raise $750,000 for Free The Children clean water projects, he adds: "I'm actually walking the walk, saying ‘I can do this, and so can you."
Follow West's journey through www.freethechildren.com/redefinepossible