Tony and his guide dog Diana. 

Tony and his guide dog Diana. 

TONY

LOS ANGELES,CA

My STRONG DAY was the day I was able to run again…

It was about 10 years ago when I woke up blind. My weight was also 210 pounds, pre-diabetic, and my blood pressure was 200/100. My doctor prescribed me medication for the blood pressure, but I refused to take it; so I started exercising. All I did for exercise was walking until I heard punching bags as I passed by a boxing gym. I’ve always wanted to learn how to box since that was my favorite sport, so I took classes. After I knew I was capable of boxing, I tried Jiu Jitsu and then took a chance at Crossfit.

"This is what I can and can't do. I don't run, but I can row and bike” was one of the first things said to the coaches at Crossfit. All I did were those two while everyone ran. By the end of the first week, while people were preparing for the 800 meter run, a coach asked me if I could somewhat see my buddy Nelson who was standing in front of me. I stated that I can only see a blur of him; so he told me to go run after him. I thought to myself: "What an ass! He already knows that I don't run! I CAN'T!" The coach then said: "What, you can't do it?” It took me a good minute to  say: "OK, I'll do it.” As my buddy Nelson started leading the way, he told me that we could go back if I felt uncomfortable, but I kept insisting that we kept going. Right when we got back from our run, I was nearly in tears. I honestly thought I would never run again. I was free. 

A few weeks later, while I was walking to my bus stop, I was stopped by someone who asked me if I ran. He told me that he guided blind runners and was looking for someone to run with on Sundays since the previous woman he trained with stopped a few years ago.  I took the opportunity in a heartbeat -- we started that Sunday. Only after a couple of weeks in, he told me to run the LA Marathon with him which was 5 months away. 

Long Story short...

I am now 156lbs. I have completed 3 Marathons, 2 Half Iron Mans7 Olympic Distance Triathlons, and I am now trying my hands in rock climbing. 

I used to put myself in a box where I thought I couldn't do things due to my disability. 

All I had to do was try.

HAVE A STRONG DAY.