Real People #2
March 05, 2015|
By Chrissy Renee|
This month’s story comes from a good friend of mine who has been a great support to me from my early days of diagnosis. I hope he can inspire you too.
Jono Goerlach, 32, Canberra, Australia
condition combines both Retinitis Pigmentosa, and slight-to-moderate hearing
loss, which I have had since birth and wear hearing aids to combat this.
full-time Triathlete. I’ve been involved in the sport for almost 3 years,
building towards my end goal of qualifying for a Paralympic Games. In an effort
to give myself the best opportunity to achieve this goal I chose to move to
Canberra one year ago where my coach and his triathlon squad are based.
bachelor degree at the University of Canberra, studying Sport &
Exercise Science/Sports Management.
part-time as a Soft-Tissue Therapist to help pay the bills and maintain at
least a little social life.
point in my life where the reality of my impending blindness started to come to
fruition – and I wasn’t even prepared for it. Initially, admitting that I
was depressed and dealing with anxiety was the first step to getting back on
track. The next step was to find something I was passionate about, set
goals to work towards, so I could have something to focus on –
sport was my passion before my diagnosis, and sport was the passion that would
be the answer to moving forward. Since returning to sport my life has
completely changed, to the point where I feel like I’ve lived two lives. I’m
only just getting started 🙂
Games. Up until October 2014 I was focused on Rio 2016, but unfortunately that
opportunity has been taken away simply due to fact that our sport has five
types of disability but only three types/classes were offered a medal event.
The positive, though, is that I do have an opportunity to go to the following
Paralympics in Tokyo 2020.
with athletes with a disability in areas of sporting development/management. I
am also passionate about reaching out to the wider vision-impaired community to
educate them and their supporters about the many opportunities there are
available to them – having a disability is an opportunity to find your true
a similar journey?
that focus will produce more opportunities than you could imagine – life is
defined by opportunities, even the ones you miss.
to triathlon greatness follow his Facebook page here.