This is going to be an experiment that I will be doing. I will be starting a new series called “Following the Flow”. Here I will highlighting individuals who fulfill these attributes:
- Have taken life to the fullest extent.
- Individuals who have capitalized on their strengths and skills through their own effort and/or the help of others.
- Pursued their dreams – whatever they maybe.
- Held true to their own dreams/aspirations and have gone out and actualize them.
I’ll edit and refine my category as I go but for now this is what I’ll be going with. So without further ado, here is my first “Following the Flow” issue.
Ran into this story on my Facebook page a month ago and boy was I blown away! This kid has more “firsts” than most of us can do in our lifetimes and he hasn’t reached puberty yet! Imagine what he’ll be doing when he reaches adulthood! Here is a shortlist of the records that he has accomplished at 9 years old (courtesy of AndreXavierMagnum.com):
- Since the age of 5 he has competed in 81 tournaments in 5 countries (Singapore, China, USA, Mexico, and Canada) and placed 1st in his category in 63 of them.
- Has been featured in Sports Illustrated, China edition
- From 2008 to 2010 he trained at the Shaolin Temple at Tagou – the first foreigner under the age of 18 to do so. In 2010 he was also the first foreigner to attend the Chinese language school there.
In addition to these accomplishments, he has been featured in numerous big name publications such as Black Belt Magazine, Sports Illustrated – China Edition, Inside Kung Fu Magazine, and CCTV9 (China’s official government-sponsored English channel).
…And all of this was because he was diagnosed with ADHD.
According to his family’s accords and online stories; Andre was diagnosed with ADHD at age 3, a common medical designation for children who are considered hyperactive and unmanageable in the classroom. Prior to his 5th birthday, his parents – shunning the traditional route of prescribing Andre medication they opted for the “organic” method – exercise. However running proved boring after a while and the parents and the child were searching for more. That’s when after watching a Jackie Chen movie that Andre told his parents “I want to do that!”.
Finding a Kung Fu school that would take Andre for this young age proved to be an obstacle but eventually they found a school. If I remember correctly it was at that school that they were able to meet some officials from the Shaolin Temple in China. After a visit to China, it was Andre would proclaimed that he wanted to study in China. Fast forward a couple of years and now we have one of the only – and one of the best! – Shaolin practitioners under the age of 12 who is not ethnically Chinese. As of now he studies at the Shaolin temple every summer and while in the states he studies at a local Wing Chun school in his area.
This kid does not show any sign of slowing down!
I’ve delved into his back story and honestly Andre is awesome! Even his last name gives off the air of awesomeness (My name is Magnum, Sifu Magnum – *shutters*). I wanted to feature him because due to the fact that it was his diagnoses of ADHD – an acronym for Attention Deficit Hypertension Disorder. Many people tend to view children who have this disorder as “unruly” or “hyperactive”. Unable to have them behave in the traditional desk-and-chair classroom, many parents turn to medication for help. It is my belief that this is the wrong avenue for “help”. Andre’s story runs parallel to that of Michael Phelps, the Olympic swimmer who has to date tied for thee most gold medals won in a single Olympic event – 8 gold medals.
Is it due to their ADHD? I believe so; their intense energy combined with an unbelievable focus were seen as negative attributes in the classroom. On Michael Phelps wikipedia page (or on another biographical page), it was noted that his 7th grade teacher told him he was a “failure”. I’m willing to bet $50 that teacher is swallowing her words right about now.
That’s my first in my “Following the Flow” series; hope that was a good intro into this extraordinary young life. I can only imagine that Andre has a lot in store for his life.
Till next time ladies and gentlemen!