Irish motivational speaker Mark Pollock has become the hero he always dreamed of being as a child. Only it isn’t the Clark Kent-Superman role as originally planned. Mark suffered the significant trauma of learning to deal with a disability as an adult, not once but twice. Blinded at age 22, he thought his plans for a banking career were over. He recovered to forge ahead despite his new disability and the difficulty of learning as an adult a whole different way to live. Then on the verge of marriage to the love of his life at age 34, a tragic accident left him paralyzed from the waist down because of a spinal cord injury. Struck twice with disabilities that might break or severely limit another person, Mark has thrived and carved out a life for himself that is rewarding and meaningful.
Mark’s particular love is sports. “Sports gave my life meaning,” Pollock says. “I always wanted to be in the middle of the action. For me, competing means trying to pursue success and risk the possibility of failure. But being in there and trying is key.” Mark has not allowed his disabilities to get in the way of his joy in being an ultra-endurance adventure athlete. Competitive rowing and racing with his hand bike are his current passions (our featured image shows him in Norway for a snow and ice marathon race). Mark is also a bestselling author and motivational speaker that travels the world to talk about his life and how to deal with significant setbacks. We here at Advocations.org particularly like his personal mantra: “Learn to navigate the unpredictable.“
Now Mark’s life has taken on an even bigger role as he leads the charge for new treatments for paralysis. He works with doctors and research institutions in the US, Ireland, and Russia. He is in the forefront of studies to produce viable robotic exoskeletons in conjunction with biomedical research teams, mechanical engineers, and robotics specialists. And he runs his own non-profit educational organization!
Learn more about this very inspiring man’s story at: http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/09/health/turning-points-blind-paralysis-exoskeleton/ or watch his 2014 TED talk presentation at: http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Expect-Problems-as-We-Explore-P.