Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Overcoming Adversity

In light of the nation’s many recent tragedies, I think it’s important to focus on uplifting stories of those around us, for those are the stories that will inspire a change for the better. One man’s story in particular impacted me this week.

William Greer, one of our very own Texans, ran in his first Boston Marathon last week on Monday, April 15th, despite being legally blind. Greer ran with sighted guide, Peter Sagal, host of the NPR show Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, finishing the marathon in 4 hours and 4 minutes, just 5 minutes before the explosions. 

Greer, now 43 years old, overcame the adversity that life threw at him, making this accomplishment that much more inspiring. After losing most of his sight and his short-term memory in a bicycle accident when he was 17, Greer had to re-learn how to do almost everything, and now has run in seven marathons, including the Boston Marathon.

“You’d be amazed how well a lot of people who are even totally blind can navigate,” said Greer.

Despite this, Sagal guided Greer through the marathon, running slightly ahead and to the left of Greer and alerting him of anything that might be in his way including potholes and other runners.

Peter Sagal waves to the crowd while guiding William Greer during the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013

In addition to training for the marathon, the pair raised about $10,000 for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. 

“There are some people who finish a marathon and say ‘I’m never going to do this again.’ There are others who finish and can’t wait until the next one," Greer said. "And I’m one of the people who just wants to keep going – wants to hit the next one.”

After hearing Greer’s story, it was hard to not be inspired to face my own challenges in life. We dedicate this post to everyone affected by the Boston marathon bombings, as well as the explosion in West, Texas, and hope that this one man’s story inspires and motivates you to overcome and grow from all of life’s challenges.

To read more about Greer and his story, read the articles in the Dallas News and the Austin KUT News.

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