Lacombe has its fair share of hardworking, industrious people, but there are few who combine equal parts determination and inspiration.
Alan Langrock can often be seen in any season, out and about town on his trusty bike towing his homemade trailer full of landscaping and snow removal gear. His big smile and bigger heart have made him a fixture of the community.
During the winter, regardless of the cold, Alan rides from house to house clearing driveways and sidewalks for his clients, some of which are seniors without the ability to do it themselves.
The challenge of hauling almost 200 lbs worth of equipment and trailer through the snow everyday is enough for most people but for Alan overcoming obstacles has become a way of life.
“It just comes natural to me. I was born with cerebral palsy and I’ve learned to deal with it. I’ve made my way through the obstacles in my life and just found a way to keep plugging away,” said Langrock.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned from having to deal with it is, don’t let other people discourage you. If there’s something you really want to do set your mind to it and don’t let anybody tell you, you can’t.”
For the last two years, Alan has been the one-man-band behind AL Enterprises, where he happily works diligently away removing the burden of shoveling heavy snow and ice from people’s homes for a small fee.
“I was tired of working for other people. I would rather work for myself. With having a disability there were people who didn’t quite understand why I couldn’t work as fast as other people. I just figured it was just better all the way around if I ended up being my own boss and only had myself and my clients to answer to,” said Langrock.
Previously, he had worked landscaping with an ex-schoolteacher helping seniors in the community. Before that he worked security, but left after being stabbed.
The most recognizable feature of AL Enterprises is the customized trailer. Alan built it out of a two-seat towable bike trailer for children, which he disassembled. He then fashioned a collapsible ramp and tool rack out of plywood.
The inspiration behind his trailer came out of necessity and his strong willpower.
“I needed a trailer to haul my equipment around, but everything I looked at was too big and needed a vehicle. I thought I’m not going to let that stop me there’s got to be a way to get my stuff around. That’s when I came up with the trailer,” said Langrock.
Unfortunately, his initial prototype was stolen but from that minor setback he only made his second much better.
“There is a thicker piece of metal on to where the hitch connects because the previous one broke. I also made the base and deck stronger to hold the weight of the snowblower,” said Langrock.
From spring until winter, nothing can stop this man for all seasons, but he says that anyone with the right attitude can achieve anything.
“It’s easy to have someone say you can’t, but if you’ve got the determination and the drive to do it. Go out and do it. There is no stopping you, the words I can’t shouldn’t be in somebody’s vocabulary.”