Following our Peachtree Road Race blog update on Thursday, I had not planned to do another one until next week. However, I received an inspirational story late yesterday afternoon from GSU alum Brad Smith that I felt deserved to be shared.
As Brad will mention, he was a runner, cyclist and triathlete before suffering an injury four years ago that without a doubt changed his life. He will be competing in his third Peachtree Road Race this year…in the wheelchair division.
So in Brad’s own words:
I suffered a spinal cord injury on June 1, 2010. Before my injury I was a physical education teacher and an endurance athlete (runner, cyclist, triathlete). After reevaluating my career, I decided to go back to school to become a school counselor. While at the Shepherd Center here in Atlanta doing rehab for my injury, I applied to Georgia State’s school counseling program. I fortunately got in and started classes on June 6, 2011 (just over one year after my injury). I loved the school counseling program at GSU and I am proud to be an alum.
I graduated in 2013 and I am now a school counselor at a high school in the Metro Atlanta area. Since I was an athlete before my injury, I planned to continue to be an athlete. In 2012 I got back to racing. I competed in a few triathlons and my first Peachtree Road Race. My goal at Peachtree this year is to finish faster than last year.
Everyone has bumps in the road, but it is what you do after you hit one of those bumps that shows your true character. As we hit the two week mark to the world’s largest 10k, good luck to Brad, the GSU alums and all 60,000 runners getting ready for the Peachtree Road Race. And when you make it in front of the Shepard Center (about half way through the race), as those individuals cheer you on, make sure to cheer right back at them for being inspirational, because one of them might just be competing with you in 2015.
So just like Brad and others, please share your story with us and we will post next week. As you know, there will be a lot of Panthers running the race this year. If nothing else, we would love to post your time after the race.
Finally, if you are not already, make sure to sign up to receive instant notifications when our blog is updated. It is simple to sign up and makes it easy to keep track of GSU Athletics. Just put in your email address in the box in the upper righthand corner of this page.
As you finish up your training for the race, good luck and Go Panthers. See ya on the course!
– Mike Holmes