Man Born Without Arms, Legs Competing in Modesto Marathon

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MODESTO -- Chris Koch is participating in his second Modesto Marathon this weekend. It'll be his fourth marathon overall, and he's doing it without arms or legs.

"My biggest goal is to just have fun," he said. "Life is what you make of it. For me, I was born without arms and legs and I haven’t really let that stop me from doing anything. If anything, it has given me the excuse to want to do more, and accomplish more and push myself."

He competes on a skateboard, able to push with a partially-formed foot on his right thigh.

Koch, a Canadian motivational speaker, was born without his limbs. He says he was raised like a normal kid. His parents would let him try things like baseball and skiing.

When he's not doing things like bungee jumping or running marathons, Koch tells people that the best way to overcome life's obstacles is to think about their mindset.

"Often times, the biggest obstacle we have in life is the six inches of space between the ears. We can convince ourselves we're capable of anything and we can convince ourselves that we're absolutely worthless, useless and can't do anything," Koch said. "My bad days have nothing to do with the fact that I'm missing arms and legs. It's easy to blame it on that, but really, it's up here (in the brain)."

That mindset of fearing regret over failure has pushed Koch to take on the streets of Modesto again on Sunday.

"The little triumphs, the little wins that you have throughout life or in your day to day. Those are the things you should be celebrating and reminding yourself, 'You know what? I am pretty capable. Or you know what? I am pretty freakin' awesome,'" he said.

Koch completed last year's Modesto Marathon in four hours and 27 minutes -- four minutes off his personal best.

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