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Richie Parker is a 30-year-old man who was born without arms. While many of us were born with all of our limbs, we’ve let other things get in the way of accomplishing some of the things we want in life. Not Richie. He opens his own doors, drives, has graduated from college and works on a very hands-on job. There are no excuses for Richie.

“Every step of the way, in life, there have been people who have said I can’t do things–ride a bicycle, live on my own, get a good job and support myself, go to college and graduate…I don’t listen too much to people when they tell me I can’t do something. There’s not a whole lot that can stand in my way,” Richie boldly stated.

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Hendrick Motorsports is the most winning organization in NASCAR. For any engineer interested in race car driving, this is the premiere place to work and Richie has been there for eight years now…as an vehicle engineer. How does he do it? By doing whatever it takes! Richie uses his feet to design. His keyboard and mouse are literally situated under his desk. He designs chassis and body components for all four of Hendrick’s race teams. Literally nothing can stop Richie and it’s beautiful to watch him soar…without arms.

Richie has an affinity for cars in his teens, often letting his parents know that he wanted to drive. The 1964 Chevy that Richie has owned for the past 15 years is one he even had to convince its previous owners to sell to him. “If a bicycle gave him a certain degree of freedom, the car gave him a greater amount of independence and pride,” Richie’s father said. “When he’s in that car, everybody’s on the same level.”

I absolutely hate when people say or use the acronym “FML” or f*ck my life. It’s usually after some first world problem, like they can’t get their computer to turn on or they just cracked their iPhone. Richie’s life is a testament of all the is possible if you don’t give up on yourself. “I don’t know that there’s a whole lot in life period that I can say that I can’t do — just things that I haven’t done yet,” Richie said.


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