449. His New Vision: A Day Without Barriers
Tanner thought his life was over when he lost his eyesight at 21. Then, he discovered a game changer–where there were no disadvantages, where everybody was on an even playing field.
Tanner Gers has reinvented himself over and over throughout his life. The biggest reinvention was moving forward after waking up in the hospital totally blind. Since that day in 2004, Tanner has influenced the world as host of the podcast, “The Creative Success Show,” and on his health and fitness blog, ABSolutelyLean.com, and as a professional speaker, author, and Paralympian.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
As he was growing up, Tanner’s family moved quite often. He and his brother used sports to connect with each of their new communities as a way of overcoming being “the new kids.” After a tragic automobile accident took away his eyesight at age 21, he gradually found a way to use athletics to rekindle his zest for life. In 2008, he discovered blind baseball. “It was as if my pilot light got a gallon of gasoline dumped on it!” To be able to express myself physically again—where there was no disadvantage, where everybody was on an even playing field—was a game changer for me!”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“When I lost my sight in 2004, I really thought my life was over. I thought, ‘Oh, my God! What am I going to do?’ Then, I started becoming aware of resources. Awareness is so crucial! I was blind for four years before I even knew there were sports for the blind or thought of others people living with disabilities. Sports opportunities changed my life in ways that are hard to put into words. Today I am an advocate for myself and am serving as an advocate for others with disabilities.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“I can envision a day when barriers to disabled people will disappear, where the word ‘accessibility’ isn’t even necessary. It will be a world where the ability to access information, gainful employment and everything else is on the same footing, to the point where there is no question about gaining access because everything is just accessible to everyone.”
Steps to Success from Tanner Gers
1. Don’t accept barriers in your way. Use your creativity and courage to remove them or overcome them.
2. Reach out to connect with other people in situations like yours.
3. Learn how to be an advocate for yourself, then help others find their own power to speak up and act.
Connecting With Tanner Gers
3-part video course on Telling Better Stories. Email Tanner at Tanner@LinkagesExperience.com to request it. Mention DiscoverYourTalentPodcast.com
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