Scott Rigsby turned tragedy into triumph. Despite losing his legs, he became a world-class athlete, author, speaker, and philanthropist. Scott was the first double-amputee on prosthetics to complete the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon, which includes swimming 2.4-miles, biking 112 miles and running 26.2-miles in one day! He also finished the Boston Marathon six times! Scott’s story is inspirational and aspirational, and his zest for life is contagious.
In 1986, Scott had a catastrophic truck accident that eventually claimed his lower legs and left him with a traumatic brain injury. He suffered from depression and addiction, but overcame these tremendous obstacles to become a record-breaking endurance athlete. He learned to define his life by what he has and not what he doesn’t have. “My body doesn’t define me,” Scott told Roswell Lifestyle Magazine recently, "Nor do my legs. Whether made of shiny metal or smooth skin, they're a gift to share, not a burden to bear”.
Though Scott is now known for his upbeat attitude, he admits that he’s not always positive. He says that there are periods when he struggles with fear, doubt, and uncertainty; and when he yells, screams, and sometimes throws a fit because things aren't going his way. When these times arise, he says, “I remind myself that it’s not my full story and that God is a kind, wise, benevolent, and all-knowing heavenly father with a wonderful plan for my life.” However, he can remember his greater purpose and use his faith to carry on. This strong faith allowed Scott to remain grateful and willing to give back to others throughout his life.
Scott grew up with a special needs brother who taught him to have compassion for those with physical or mental challenges. He believes that his brother Tim defied the odds to live a fulfilling life, making him the real “Ironman” of the family. Tim’s example of resilience inspired Scott to push beyond his limits following his accident and to have empathy for veterans and others dealing with hardships. He understands the value of love and encouragement from those around him.
The Roswell/Alpharetta community has powerfully supported Scott, humbling him with their servant’s heart. “They gave me a safe refuge to build a life devoted to serving others,” Scott insists. “For the community’s investment, I'm eternally thankful. So much of my athletic success and desire to be a better person can be attributed to these special neighbors.”
This Thanksgiving, Scott is incredibly grateful to be surrounded by friends and family. Though his parents have passed away, he is thankful for the family they created and the gift of love that continues to grow. “My parents were married for 66 years and had seven children, 14 grandkids, and 20 great-grandchildren. I am so thankful for the upbringing from my parents and the special times we shared over many Thanksgivings. I miss them dearly, but I am so grateful to have people that I love to share a meal and special memories.”
To learn more about Scott’s uplifting story, check out ScottRigsby.com or read his well-reviewed book, Unthinkable, available on Amazon.
“Don’t give up on your dreams, value your communities and become servant leaders. I want people to operate in faith, let go of their fears and view obstacles as opportunities. There is an opportunity for an abundant life beyond our pain, loss, and disappointment. We must hold on.”