A published author, speaker, U.S. Paralympic athlete, founder of two companies, and host of the Athlete Summit podcast, Tanner Gers talks about his life of adaptation, strategizing, and determination to not just overcome, but excel at life despite having ADHD – and being completely blind. Describing his story of self development and improvement, Tanner seeks to inspire others to reach and exceed their physical and mental potential.
About Tanner Gers:
A U.S. Paralympic athlete, entrepreneur, author, and professional speaker, Tanner Gers not only has ADHD, but he is completely blind as well.
Tanner’s mission in life is to help others achieve their potential by helping them build confidence, determination, and willpower.
At age 21, Tanner was involved in a traumatic car accident resulting in a broken back, massive head trauma, and the complete loss of his vision.
Testing positive for ADHD at age four, Tanner remembers losing focus and interest very easily – even regarding physical activity. He was also talented at math, but would lose focus before showing his work on tests.
Trauma and Recovery:
Prior to the accident, Tanner had been dealing with a major life transition following struggles with family and school, eventually dropping out of college. At some point, he feels he “woke up,” realized he needed to change his direction in life, and decided to join the military. Before he was able to complete the enlistment process, however, the car accident happened.
Emotionally crushed and with his life still in potential jeopardy due to forthcoming medical procedures, Tanner’s father, who was often absent to him as a child, spoke to him, providing the wake-up call he needed. His father told him that though he was blind, he also could have been in a wheelchair, could have been mentally debilitated, could have been killed – it could always be worse.
“When you realize that it could always be worse, any day spent on the good side of grass […], that’s a good day.”
Within two months after Tanner’s release from his two-month hospital stay, he was enrolled in college and learning how to manage his life with blindness. Within the next year, Tanner moved out of his parents’ house, learned how to live independently, received a guide dog, and signed a lease on his own place.
In the fall semester of his first year of college, Tanner had two brain surgeries, though he still managed to keep up with his exams, even taking them over the phone while in the ICU.
“Instead of asking how you’re going to do it, just do the best that you can in the moment.”
Managing ADHD while Blind:
Eric points out how heavily he relies on visual reminders to cue him into his schedule.
Tanner still uses reminders, but has to have them delivered in the form of audio. He is grateful for smartphones and technology for helping him on that front.
Stopping and starting tasks is easier for Tanner thanks to scheduling his days out using his iPhone’s calendar; when the alarm goes off, he knows it’s time to switch tasks.
Switching tasks more frequently, but on a reminder-based schedule, is important for keeping up motivation and energy level throughout the day.
Attention shifting can still be a problem – Tanner remembers being distracted while conducting an interview for his own podcast.
Products, Services, and Other Links:
Athlete Summit, Tanner’s company and podcast
ABSolutelyLean.com, Tanner’s fitness system company
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