It is more than strange to be born again at twenty. Within a second my life changed completely. Words like power, strength, completeness, security, beauty and success were replaced with: injury, pain, handicapped, rehabilitation and prosthetics.
On June 24th, 1982, another day in the Lebanon War turned into a special day for me. The explosion that took my hand also took my life plans. I was a young soldier in the IDF's Golani unit, headed for officer training; strong, attractive, full of self confidence – and I found myself on the broiling ground laying in my own blood, without my right hand, and my face on fire. My screams cut the air and I knew I would no longer be who I was before.
That same day, laying in a hospital bed, I didn't know how to decipher my father's look; if it was one of sorrow, or of relief, that he hadn't lost me – or one that said "I accept our family's fate – that of loss and mourning." The strength he held in his broad shoulders and large hands, I have never seen in anyone else to this day. This same man was also blessed with endless warmth and emotion.
It is not easy to accept those who are different. I don't mind drawing attention – I just want my personality to be more significant than how I look. At the beginning, I would hope that people didn't note my handicap. I would attempt to divert their attention towards the attributes of my personality – making efforts that wouldn't be needed if I had my right hand.
My story is about falling into a pit; which could have been impossible to escape and then creating a positive reality, one of strength and significance despite the circumstances – one that was potentially better than what it was before the injury.
Single Handed shares Hanoch Budin's experiences, ranging from the injury, rehabilitation, becoming an elite athlete with eight Olympic medals (two Gold medals), family, career, management and leadership, to his participation in "Survivors", a reality television show.