Challenge,  motivation

An Amazing Attitude

Athlete on American Ninja Warrior…

Kris and I both watch the show, not only for the amazing athletic feats, but the incredible stories. One story this year was a 16 year-old girl named Katie Bone.

Now Katie Bone is a nationally ranked rock climber, and she has had type one diabetes since she was eleven. She wears insulin pumps on the back of her arms.

The night she ran the Ninja first stage course, up until her, no one, not even major pros, had made it through the 5th obstacle and I was telling Kris I thought it was too tough, no one would make it.

And then along came Katie Bone. She went through the entire course like she did it all the time and hit the buzzer, the first one of the night.

16 years old, type 1 diabetes.

Then when the hosts were talking with her, they asked her some question about doing what she does with diabetes, and her response made Kris and I both rewind and write it down.

Katie Bone said simply, “I don’t need easy. I just need possible.”

Let me repeat that…

“I don’t need easy. I just need possible.”

Katie Bone. 16 years old, nationally ranked rock climber, type 1 diabetic.

Well folks, being a professional writer is possible. Many of us prove it all the time.

It’s not easy, but it is possible.

Just saying.


  • Frank Theodat

    Love that. Writing that down to put in front of my desk!

    Having the right attitude is critical for success as a writer. Thanks for sharing, Dean.

    Looking forward to starting the Heinlein’s Rules workshop this week.

  • Mark Kuhn

    It really was incredible. I also wrote down her quote.
    In March of 2018, I returned to bowling after being away for many years. It really felt great. I was getting back into the groove, finding my rythm, tweaking my timing and release.
    In March of 2019, while practicing for a tournament, I was in the tenth frame of my 7th practice game one Saturday morning. Then when I released the ball at the bottom of my swing, I heard and felt something in my right wrist pop. The pain shot all the way up to my elbow and I hit the floor like a sack of potatoes. When I looked at my hand, my fingers were twitching and shaking. The pain was heckin’ excrutiating.
    Fast forward to the doctor’s office after the MRI results were in. Complex tear in the TFCC. Calcium deposits from a break in the base of my hand 30 years earlier had migrated into the TFCC and tore it up. There was a surgical option, but too many of the smaller joints in my hand would need to be fused, among other things. Rehab after surgery, the doctor said, would offer me only a new definition of pain. I can do normal, every day tasks, but bowling was finished.
    So in November of 2019, I decided to learn how to bowl left handed. So many people told me I’d never be back to where I was right handed. You’re setting yourself up for a huge letdown. Then a friend said, “You’re a smart guy, Mark. If anyone can figure out how to do this, it’s you.”
    In February of 2020, I bowled my first 200 game left handed. The awkward feeling is gone, and I feel like a mirror image of my right handed self. My average left handed is currently 170 to 175 and I’m moving forward slow and steady.
    There have been some moments where the voices of the people who said it couldn’t be done still dare to find me. But I answer with this quote: “I cannot change or direct the wind, but I can adjust my sails.”
    As I continue, I think Katie’s quote can carry me now, too.

    • Nathan Haines

      That’s so inspiring!

      I haven’t been bowling in forever. I should do more Wii Sports Resort or Clubhouse Games bowling (I don’t have Nintendo Switch Sports yet). I have bowling scores others are jealous of! (Of course… those people are all golfers…)

      But I’m really happy you were able to get back to something you enjoy!

  • Cora

    A person with type 1 diabetes can do anything. Does it take more work? Of course. Working to replace your pancreas is a full time job, and then you have to have a life. And you put your all into it. Diagnosed 1966

  • Heather Hatch

    Put it on my wall.
    To me, it seems she trusted that it was indeed possible, long before the buzzer was ringing every round.

  • Heather H

    I googled her, looked a bit more into her story. I read about her practice and preparation. She wasn’t an Overnight Wonderkind.
    I recommend seeing this bit, not only hearing about her.
    Especially if like me, you’re not in the tv world and havent watched the challenge. Then you can better see what Dean and Kristine were impressed by, at least it worked that way for me.
    I don’t know exactly which clip is the actual one, but they are all amazing and humbling.

    There is a local news interview where the things she says- esecially the middle part- about learning from failure, and her attitude even at age 8- could do double duty about turning pro as a writer.
    Same mindset that I am learning here, in my workshops, and that I read in Dean and Kristine’s nonfiction.

    Blog readers, please take a second to google her. Or If links are allowed, try these: