Blog updates after the recent passing of Jimmie Fortner 5/3/1944 - 3/23/2021. We'll always love and miss you coach.
Two hunting dogs sensing greatness at Kokee State Park, on Kauai. I caught these two curious hunting dogs checking out my father in-law's (Jimmie Fortner:) high tech hardware recently. Creating inspiration and generating curiosity is not a new thing for Jim. Just imagine him as a boy playing sports with earliest versions of wood prosthetic legs!
My father in-law was definitely an inspiration as I first launched the CAN. brand and concept. When I initially tried to explain or over explain (as I do) what CAN. was all about, he just stopped me and said “it’s just the opposite of “can’t”. Obviously I was dealing with an expert on this particular subject. Someone who has eliminated the grey areas, living in only his own positive absolutes.
In 1944 Jim was born without legs in a small Texas town. His auntie Johnnie who had more resources moved him up to Seattle. It was in the Emerald city where he was able to thrive and create an incredible life. Throughout his entire life of 70+ years he has overcome adversity and preconceived notions of "can't" by others. He was told he could not play sports, pursue physical education as a teacher, or be part of football. So what did he do? He overcame all of it!
Jim playing baseball at the University of Washington video - here
- He played any and all sports including baseball at the University of Washington.
- For decades Jim was a head football coach in the state of Washington at Evergreen High School.
- He raised an amazing family, one of which became an elite collegiate runner and later Division One distance coach at UNLV. And my beautiful wife Angie.
- A movie was made about him titled "Never Look Down".
- After retiring from football, Jim decided to take up the sport of golf. Soon after he won a National Championship in the National Amputee Golf Association! He still plays in his 70's and crushes the ball each and every time!
Believing in the Spirit of CAN. is his default setting:)
Jim paved the way for so many others to overcome physical and mental adversity! He's not only family to me, but he's the most inspirational person I’ve ever known.
So, when "can't" enters your mind, imagine if self doubt is NOT an option. Imagine that out of pure life necessity you must believe in yourself and your goals. You will not only lift yourself up, but you'll do as Jim has done for so many people over the years, provide hope.