07 Mar Living Their Soul Signature: Scout Bassett
To live your soul signature means having the courage and clarity to live a life that is uniquely yours and reflects your greatest potential. This series of posts focuses on people who inspire me in the way they live their life and have found their most authentic expression.
Scout Bassett is living her soul signature.
“Failure isn’t fatal. You may go through setbacks and disappointments, but you’re not done. The biggest battle is in your mind. Get past the doubts and fears and get to where you want to be.”
Twenty five year old Paralympian Scout Bassett doesn’t remember losing her leg. She was not even a year old when a chemical fire left her badly burned then abandoned by her family on the doorstep of an orphanage in Nanjing, China. Scout does remember being hungry and being beaten. She remembers being forced to wash dishes, mop floors, and feed babies. But when her American parents adopted her at the age of 7, her whole life changed.
In a new world so different from her life in China, Scout realized that sports helped her overcome the barriers of culture and language with her new American classmates. But struggling to adapt as an amputee at such a young age was making her feel inadequate and not good enough to play. She rode the bench and was ignored by most of her coaches.
When she turned 14, Scout got involved with the Challenged Athletes Foundation and her life transformed when she received her first running leg. She lost her first race, but was inspired by the idea of what was possible. At that point, she realized she could never live out her dream if she let the ideas and judgments of others define her. “I began to embrace who I am, and I vowed from that day that I would never be embarrassed or apologetic about where I’m from or events that have transpired in my life.”
Bassett’s hard work and commitment has paid off. Her many triumphs include the silver medal in the above-knee physically challenged division of the International Triathlon Union World Championships in 2007, 2008 and 2010, the Challenged Athletes Foundation's prestigious Challenged Athlete of the Year award as well as setting a new world record in the 400m last November. Bassett was elated to return to China in September 2011 for the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships — her first time back in her home country. She sobbed with joy as she crossed the finish line recollecting how far that little girl in the orphanage had come.
Scout Bassett began living her soul signature before she could communicate with her American family, before she could compete with other children in sports and before she had a prosthetic made solely for running. She knew she wanted to move. That was the seed planted in her by the Divine and the rest blossomed from her strength, courage, and self-love. And so she moved… in the face of all her challenges and became the powerful athlete she is today.
“It was never about winning or flashing an impressive time,” she said. “I did it to prove to myself I could overcome my fears and doubts.”
By living her soul signature, Scout Bassett is a true champion inside and out.