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Patricia Walsh    

World Champion Athlete, Award-Winning Engineer & Author of "Blind Ambition"

Patricia Walsh’s initial vision loss began as the result of a pediatric brain tumor. Due to some post operation complications, most of her vision was gone by the time she was 14. Despite being on track to graduate high school early, the depression that came with her disability ended up killing Walsh’s drive and determination.

By 19, Walsh had a revelation; if she never started to make positive changes, she probably never would. Not ready to live the rest of her life explaining why she was a failure, she challenged herself to always be better. Running became an outlet to challenge herself.

Through sport, Walsh found the confidence and determination to accept and overcome challenges in all aspects of her life. Most importantly, she found the peace of mind to be herself.

Today, Walsh has raced more than a dozen marathons and ultra-marathons and competed in two IRONMAN triathlons. In 2011, she set the world record for blind triathletes, shattering both male and female records by over 50 minutes. She's also a 5-time USA Champion and 2016 Paralympian.

Speech Topics

  • Goal Achievement
  • Overcoming Discouragement
  • Resilience
  • Training to Win
  • The power in a willingness to take on a monster task having the willingness to fail gracefully

Dream Big

Patricia speaks to the ways that we as professionals can empower our own success by taking on a willingness to risk. Dream big, the impossible may not be so impossible. All problems can be broken down into smaller problems that can then be solved. There is power in a willingness to take on a big risk. There is surface area for future accomplishments in evaluating the seemingly impossible for what it really is, possible.

Fuel, Fire, Blaze

Patricia explains a goal hierarchy. The top level (blaze) is the intrinsic motivation. This is what change you want to make in your sport/ industry that makes you jump out of bed in the morning. The second level (fire) goal is in determining what has to happen to get you there. What are the milestones that have to occur in order to be able to make the change? The base level (fuel) is what actions have to happen daily to support the greater vision. Fuel, fire, blaze is a toolset for mapping day to day activities to higher level motivation and inspiration.

Blind Ambition: Overcoming a pediatric Brain tumor to then become a Paralympic hopeful

Patricia shares her personal story of overcoming obstacles, discovering resilience, and cultivating a skill set to overcome perceived limitations. This keynote can be adapted to meet organizational goals around adapting to change and staying vision focused.

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