Competing in a triathlon is never easy, but for Adam Warner it’s an even bigger challenge. As the 27-year-old straps into his modified bike, it’s one of the few times his cerebral palsy takes the back seat.
“Anytime he can be around people, he wants to do it,” Ralph Warner, Adam’s dad explained.
It’s part of the reason Warner enjoys triathlons, and also how he met the women he’ll be competing with on Saturday.
“I actually passed them on the bike course, and I was in awe. I was amazed,” Tonya Clark said.
She’s competed in at least ten triathlons over the last few years, but this will be her first with Warner. Clark will bike with him during the 12.7 mile ride at the 8th Annual Tri Ballantyne. Other athletes from Tri It will do the swimming and riding portion with him.
The training isn’t the only challenge though. Adam is also visually impaired and completely deaf.
I want to learn sign language so I can talk to him. He understands when I need help and know that when I [give him a sign], he’s got to push harder,” Clark explained.
You don’t need words to understand why people are immediately drawn to Warner. He won’t hear the crowds on Saturday, but even as he trains he pumps his arms like he will in the race to get the crowds going.
“That’s what he does,” Ralph said while watching his son on the modified bike.
For Ralph, it’s an opportunity to see his son be part of something that doctors said would never happen.
“We get emotional all the time,” he said.
So do others who meet him, and work with him. As he continues to inspire, one jog, swim and bike ride at a time.