Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-12-06 13:06:19 –
Richmond, Virginia-Taylor Jones starts with a square. Richmond men are learning the basics that are rewarding when they are invisible, such as cooking and other simple chores.
“It’s a crazy journey I’ve experienced,” Jones said. “If you teach yourself how to do it, you really don’t need eyes.”
A 31-year-old man lost most of his eyesight seven years ago.
“I have an old reliable wand with this in the Blind Center with this wand, and it was beaten,” Jones said.
On Christmas morning 2014, Jones crashed Jeep into his house after falling asleep in the car.
“When I was still in the car, the porch of my house fell on me,” he said.
Suffering from severe brain damage, Jones fell into a medically-induced coma. The doctor was not optimistic.
“They didn’t know if I would survive or how long I would survive,” he said. “They told my family that I didn’t know what kind of brain function I had.”
Jones had to relearn how to walk, and his new standard was a difficult adjustment.
“I have tougher days than others. I call them tough blind days,” he said.
He will draw power from a family who was not on his side on the road to recovery.
“My mother gave me this (rock of courage) before she died. Since then it has always been my rock,” he said.
Taylor’s mother, Catherine, lost the fight against cancer a year before his crash.
“It was really hard to see her suffering so much and fighting her way of fighting. She had a lot of power and courage. It never shook,” Jones said. ..
Catherine’s spirit pushes him through every day.
“I rely heavily on this quote.’I always have the opportunity to say that this is not the end of my story,'” Jones said.
The story of Taylor Jones doesn’t end on the couch.
“For me, there is no other option in my head,” Jones said. “I am grateful for what I still have.”
Former George Mason volleyball player may have lost sight, but the crash did not deprive him of his competitiveness.
Running will be his exit.
“It looks a little crazy, but why not,” Jones said.
Jones has completed 10 half marathons in Richmond since the crash.
“It was a very emotional and very powerful moment for me,” Jones said.
But Taylor wanted to go farther.
“I realized there was a possibility. I just have to take them,” he said.
Two years ago, he set the goal of running New York City, the world’s largest marathon.
“The seeds were planted and bloomed from there,” he said.
The runner needed a guide and a running companion to keep him away.
“When you say you’re a runner, people think you’re crazy. Some people didn’t think I was crazy,” he said.
That person was Dan Beckman, a friend and colleague who volunteered to be Taylor’s eye at Big Apple.
“Being a guide is more mental than physical,” Beckman said.
The pair trained together every mile every month.
“Early in training, I tried to run with my eyes closed, which was horrifying,” Beckman said.
Their bond was a low-tech solution. A simple shoestring brought them closer.
On November 7th, friends will start side by side for the 50th run of the New York City Marathon. All 26.2 miles.
“It was great,” Jones said. “Several other para-athletes were lined up with us. It was very cool.”
“And just like that, you get off, you’re in Brooklyn, and the noise of the crowd is deafening. It’s six depths on each side of you,” Beckman said. ..
Jones admitted that he had improved him almost in the middle of the marathon.
“I’m hurt. I want to stop running. I’m not the only one running,” he said.
However, with Beckman’s guidance and a push from Mama, Jones did his best.
“I thought she would be like this.” What are you doing? You are running a race. Run. go. go! ‘”
“It’s all about us to give courage to fear,” Beckman said. “Ultimately it is all of us to replace fear.”
My friends have finally reached the end.
The man who can’t see the intersection first.
For Beckman, their bond is stronger than shoelaces.
“Yeah, he’s one of my heroes,” Beckman said. “Taylor is one of my heroes.”
“It seemed like this was the purpose of all the work,” Jones said.
Conquering the New York City Marathon is the pinnacle of personal success that cannot be measured by medals.
He may have started over, but for Taylor Jones, crossing the finish line of life is paramount.
“I’ve had a lot of experience getting here. I love this challenge and I’m ready for the next one,” he said.
Jones hasn’t put on his running shoes yet. He is looking at the World Marathon Majors. Next is Chicago in October.
WTVR’s Greg McQuade first reported this story.