When you want to give up, just think of…

As this year kicks off, I would like to make a special mention for one of the people who inspires me. His name is Carl, a 53-year-old going on 21.

carl photo 9


My client, Carl, leads with his actions… before the event that led to his disability, he was 5 times Comrades Marathon medalist.

In 1999, there was a horrific accident

Carl is in the middle, Comrades Marathon 2003

at his work which caused him to have cyanide poisoning while attempting to save a workman of his. As a result of the poisoning, his Central Nervous System was affected, therefore affecting his ability to walk/run, change direction and balance.

He has also developed Dystonia affecting the left side of his body. As a result, the muscles on his left side have atrophied and his joints have lost mobility.

His left foot was abnormally turning inwards and toes pointing in, this made movement very difficult.

Carl did not let this stop him. As a true athlete, he continued with Marathons and training no matter what life threw at him… Three years after the accident he was back running the Comrades. Sadly, 2 years ago, Carl had to

carl photo 13 1
Carl at finishing line, Two Oceans Marathon 2009

give up running as his left foot progressively lost mobility and stability.

When Carl started training with me in April of 2016, we had two primary objectives. One, to work on his motor skills and two, to bring back mobility and stability of his left ankle.

Carl’s tenacity for life, to persevere and do better than yesterday, to move, to achieve constantly astounded and impressed me.

Within 5 months of training with me, Carl’s left ankle was almost back to normal. He could run again! He immediately started preparing for a major race. And on Sunday the 27th of November 2016, he ran a 32 km race. Carl fell 6 times but with determination, he got up each time and finished the race in 4 hours and 9 minutes.

Running 32km. is something to brag about no matter who you are.

This is an astonishing achievement! Well done Carl!

I asked Carl “What makes you wake up in the morning, what makes you an achiever? “… “Life!” he said.

Carl is an extraordinary individual. His mental, emotional and physical ability to stay sharp, to overcome and achieve results that can appear insurmountable to most people… what can I say… he is an incredible inspiration!

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