29-Year Old Trion Lias, Born Blind, Earns His Black Belt in Karate

Have you ever done karate?

I haven’t, but I’ve always been fascinated by people who do.

As an avid watcher of “The Karate Kid” movie series, I’ve always loved inspiring karate stories.

I learned from an early age that karate can be used to help you overcome many hurdles in your life – hurdles in the form of external forces, as well as the hurdles you create within yourself.

Whether you’re standing up to a high school bully or standing up to the negative thoughts in your head, it appears to be a martial art that can really work wonders in your life.

I need to try it!

There’s something about watching someone so focused on their physical movements that really interests me. I have the utmost respect for the mental and physical discipline it takes to earn each belt.

Shosin Nagamine, a Japanese karate master, once said:

 “Karate may be referred to as the conflict within yourself, or a life-long marathon which can be won only through self-discipline, hard training, and your own creative efforts.”

29-year old Trion Lios is no stranger to this kind of self-discipline and hard training. He recently earned his black belt, which typically takes three to six years to achieve.

He did all of his work to achieve this great accomplishment while living in the dark.

Trion was born blind. And he tells his story of highs and lows openly and honestly.

YouTube video courtesy of City of Irving

He’s pretty much one of my biggest heroes right now. Not only is karate difficult – but doing karate and earning your black belt when you’re born blind? It’s just absolutely amazing and awe-inspiring to me.

When I watched the video above, I was emotionally moved in such a way that has stuck with me all day today.

Trion openly talks about the period in his life where he considered suicide. Living in the dark – being born blind – wasn’t always something Trion could handle.

I am so impressed by Trion’s openness to share his struggles. He doesn’t leave out the bad parts when being interviewed about his life. He takes the darkness in his life and talks about it in a way that connects with anyone who hears his story.

That’s bold. That’s honest. And that’s incredibly inspiring.

But Trion’s blindness did not win. His blindness was something he learned to accept, conquer and overcome.

Through committing to the discipline of karate, he took the power from his blindness, instead of letting his blindness take away his own power.

With each movement he learned, each belt he earned, he brought light into his dark world until eventually, the darkness wasn’t so overwhelming. I commend him for that.

And look at what he did along the way, as he faced his own demons? He made his instructors better teachers. They said it themselves in the video clip – he made them face their own fears – fears of not knowing how to teach a blind student moves that are difficult enough to teach to someone who can see.

How amazing is that?

By confronting his own blindness head on, he turned his disability, his blindness, into an ability.

Trion is an amazing person. Though he’s never been able to see a beautiful sunset or look out the window and watch people passing by, he has made the conscious choice to learn karate. And as a result of his unwavering commitment, he has earned his black belt.

His positive perspective on life, despite the hand he’s been dealt, inspires me to look at my own self-imposed limitations and question them.

Why can’t I do the things I think I cannot do? What’s really stopping me? The truth is, it’s me. It’s not anything else.

If Trion can overcome his lack of sight to accomplish amazing things in his own life, I know I can also surpass any obstacles that come my way.

The limits we often put on ourselves when we think about reaching certain goals are exactly what they sound like – limits. They’re not reality.

Trion has proven that you can do anything if you want it bad enough. He is a true inspiration to anyone who reads his story and learns about the darkness he overcame in his own life.

Thank you, Trion for helping me find perspective and move toward my own goals with the same tenacity you exhibit every day.

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