Never Surrender! Wheelchair-user in Peachtree Race Shares Story on Willpower

Ken Higgins is a 70-year-old veteran who is a wheelchair road racer. Three characteristics of Higgins can immediately be noticed, according to reporting. Higgins is described as a “natural-born athlete,” possessing a “huge personality with a great sense of humor,” and he is a stroke survivor.” Higgins is described as being “on a mission.”

While in the army, Higgins suffered catastrophic injuries, described as “a brain and spinal cord stroke that left me blind and paralyzed from the neck down.” Higgins gradually regained his eyesight and regained “some feeling in his legs.” Higgins has been wheelchair-restricted since those injuries.

Higgins sought perspective and inspiration. Describing himself as “always being involved with sports,” he pondered how he could reengage after suffering such trauma. “Like, what am I going to do,” he questioned. Higgins admitted that he was inactive for years. He gained weight. “I’ve been 185 like forever. I ballooned up to 240.” Higgins challenged himself: “I have to do something!”

Higgins got involved with local wheelchair sports organizations and went on to compete in dozens of competitions including marathons, even triathlons. Higgins emulated the fictional Rocky character by going up the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He didn’t race up those steps like Rocky. Rather, as he described his accomplishment, he “scooted” up there “on my butt.”

Higgins has become a man of stunning achievement and will. He’s already completed “two triathlons,” which, “were nothing” compared to the 14,000-feet mountain bike ride he accomplished.

Higgins is now the oldest wheelchair-using Peachtree Road Race contestant. He intends his dedication and commitment to sports and hard work to inspire people who are facing adversity. As quoted, Higgins stated, “Life isn’t over. It’s tough, but you have to be tough, too. You’re going to say ‘I’m not going to sit here and wait until the end. I’m going to seize life, find out what I can do, go out and enjoy it.”

After Peachtree, Higgins will have completed his 25th road race in a wheelchair. Higgins prays “his rotator cuff will get him through two triathlons in the next month, and several more races before the end of the year.” As Rocky Balboa said, “It ain’t how hard you can punch. It’s how hard you can take a hit and still get up.” Sitting in his wheelchair, Higgins is always up.

D & B Staff

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