Motivational speakers can sometimes be a bit hard to take. After all, what have most of them done to be telling others why they need to believe in themselves more or give any of the other advice they commonly give. Jerry Traylor, recently profiled in the Great Falls Tribune, offers motivational speeches to children in schools, juvenile detention facilities and other venues, but he has very real credibility. Born with cerebral palsy, Traylor has run 35 marathons over the course of his life, went skydiving and completed quite a few other feats that even people without CP would find challenging, if not downright terrifying.
A Life of Successes
Traylor, according to the article, has given speeches to in excess of 2 million people over the course of his career. Public speaking might be intimidating enough for most people, but Traylor doesn’t intimidate easily. He’s also hiked to the top of Pike’s Peak in Colorado—something that people with full control of their bodies would find challenging—and he did it on crutches.
Traylor also ran across America. He was already a motivational speaker at that point and, unlike many motivational speakers out there, he didn’t complete the impressive feat and then decide to launch a career based on it. He was already giving speeches, but went ahead and did the run because he was already working as a motivational speaker.
It’s part of Traylor’s strategy of setting goals and meeting them. This might seem obvious to many people, but setting goals that might seem impossible or, at the very least, highly improbable, is a strategy that works for some people with disabilities. The fact that the odds seem to say that they’d never be able to complete their goals give them extra motivation, making it possible for them to achieve things that even people without disabilities may not be able to do. Whether it’s more motivation or the love of a challenge, people with CP sometimes do very surprising things.
Finding Hope with CP
Some children with CP will simply never be able to do what Traylor does, but the right resources, educational assistance and medical care can increase their quality of life exponentially. If your child was born with CP that was the result of a birth mistake, talk to a cerebral palsy attorney to see if you have a good chance of winning a lawsuit for compensation, which could provide resources for the child.