Meet Blake Leeper – the 24-Year Old Paralympic Sprinter Who is Going for Gold

You know those days when you wake up and you just feel kinda blah?

We all have them. Those mornings when you’re moving a little slow. When you may not feel like doing whatever it is you have scheduled for the day.

When you start to feel just a little sorry for yourself because you’re worn out. Or because you just feel like staying in your pajamas on a Tuesday.

That little feeling of dread starts to weigh you down and makes you feel slow and unmotivated. That skeptical internal narrator can come on quite strong in the morning, leaving us drained and doubtful of whether we can accomplish the tasks that await us in the day ahead.

Meet Blake Leeper

We’ll, I’m pretty sure a guy like Blake Leeper doesn’t really have these blah moments all that often. Despite the fact that he has no legs from the knees down.

His overwhelmingly positive perspective on life, despite his physical challenges, is way too strong to entertain those kind of self-limiting thoughts for more than a few moments.

Video courtesy of Steven C. Barber, YouTube

When it comes to attitude, I could learn a thing or two from Blake.

He’s an incredibly inspirational human being who is the ultimate example of moving past perceived obstacles to live not only a good life – but a thriving, passionate life – regardless of how hopeless things may seem.

At 24 years old, Blake Leeper is the fastest American Paralympic runner, and has his sights set on becoming the first American to race in both the regular and Paralympic competitions.

He simply wants one thing: to be the best sprinter in the world.

Blake’s Incredible Journey Begins

On August 31, 1989, Blake Leeper fought his way into the world. The first obstacle that appeared in Blake’s tiny little life showed itself that same day, when he was born without legs below the knees.

When Blake was 9 months old, he started wearing prosthetics and slowly learned to walk. In the last 4 years, he started competitively running. And he has never looked back.

He has won medals in the Paralympic Games, set world records and continues to push himself to do things that make him feel empowered.

“Just like everybody else puts their shoes on, I just put my legs on, one leg at a time. It’s the same process.”

Photo courtesy of level5collective.com
Photo courtesy of level5collective.com

Blake has won medals in the Paralympic games, but has set his sights even higher. “I want to be the first disabled American to qualify for the Olympic Games.”

Photo courtesy of teamusa.org
Photo courtesy of teamusa.org

He’s never too busy to lend a hand.

Photo courtesy of Zimbio.com
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com

Or smiles and encouraging words to a child in need.

Photo courtesy of triathlon.competitor.com
Photo courtesy of triathlon.competitor.com

Blake practices hard and puts in the time.

Photo courtesy of douglassalumni.blogspot.com
Photo courtesy of douglassalumni.blogspot.com

So he can celebrate when he achieves his goals.

Photo courtesy of blakeleeper.com
Photo courtesy of blakeleeper.com

And Blake’s exuberant smile reminds us all that no obstacle can get in the way of your happiness – unless you let it.

Photo courtesy of wheaties.com
Photo courtesy of wheaties.com

It’s clear to me that Blake Leeper is on the right track – literally and metaphorically speaking.

He’s a guy that I can think of the next time I’m feeling “blah” in the morning.

The next time I feel like spending a few minutes mustering up reasons why I’m not good enough to do something or try something new, I can consciously choose to mirror Blake’s optimistic perspective so I can take on my own day with confidence.

If Blake Leeper can find the mental and physical strength to get off the couch and run after his own Paralympic and Olympic goals, his attitude reminds me that I too can view the world through an empowered, positive lens each and every day.

Keep running, Blake! You inspire us all with each and every step you take.

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