Sharpshooter takes aim with his toes



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Posted on September 5, 2012 at 11:08 PM

DALLAS — Life is not about limitations.

It's about pushing yourself a step further than you ever thought possible.

And North Texas student Marcus Parks is doing it daily... sometimes even surprising himself, while inspiring so many others along the way.

The socks come off.

The chair is pulled out.

But Parks is not just kicking back; he's firing away.

With his feet.

"You pull the trigger, the gun goes off, and you can't even describe how relaxing it feels," he said. "Did I hit a bulls-eye? I certainly aimed for one!"

Marcus Parks types, writes, and eats with his feet.

Despite more than 20 medical procedures, his arms just aren't strong enough to accomplish life's basic needs.

"My arms originally started out backwards, so they had to cut and de-fuse the wrists to turn them around," he explained.

The 20-year-old Tarleton State University student says his condition isn't a limitation; it's a motivation.

"If people think you're not worth something, prove them wrong," Parks said.

So through an outdoor adventure class, Parks challenged himself, as he does at the Elm Fork shooting range. "It gets your adrenalin going," he said.

It turns out that his mindset proved to be the biggest hurdle.

"I can't shake the feeling that it's just right there, and the only thing stopping me from taking it is me," he said.

It's with that attitude he approaches each day, teaching friends and strangers a thing or two about life.

"The way he thinks about it, the way he talks about it, the way he deals with it is really inspirational to me," said friend Seth Gaston.

"It's a higher calling to do something important," Parks said. "To tell people who are handicapped and not handicapped that just because you have physical bounderies, it doesn't mean you can't do things."

"He defenitley doesn't view it as a limitation," said Gaston. "He recognizes he is a little different, and so he works around it."

In a way, Parks said he hopes his achievement sends a strong message: That he is a person first and that his disability doesn't define him.