Henry Wanyoike was born a healthy, sighted boy. Then suddenly in 1995, as if by the flip of a switch, his life was swept into darkness. He says, “I went to bed a normal person; the following day I found myself engulfed in darkness.”
The doctors attending to him said that Wanyoike had suffered 95 percent loss of his vision after suffering a stroke. He then lost what little sight had remained gradually over the next few days. Deeply traumatized, suicidal thoughts flooded his mind.
He sought help and in the process met someone who would give him hope. Through that newfound friend, he met other blind persons and through their interactions, he started seeing new possibilities. His confidence grew. He reasoned that while he was limited, he perhaps could use another’s eyes. He set off to work with a seeing running mate to build his career in athletics, choosing not to allow the darkness in his eyes to seep into his soul.
Today, Wanyoike is one of the world’s fastest runners. He has won gold or silver, medals in the marathon, half-marathon, ten-kilometre road race, the 10,000 meters, the 5,000 meters and the 1,500 meters. No other Kenyan athlete has ventured so widely or so successfully.
Wanyoike amplifies James Barker’s message in his book, Secrets of Super Achievers in which he outlines the key areas for growth that include: character, responsibility, passion, optimism, learning, endurance, discipline, humility and courage. In the book, Barker says that most of us want to be who we were designed to be and that there’s always the craving to live a life of excellence and character.
However for many people, the dream to be all they can be dies when adversity strikes. Not so for Wanyoike, who despite being blind, realized the enormous potential of a human and turned his misfortune to hope. Unbelievably, his handicap has given him more possibility that the absence of it would have – he is a Super Achiever.
The book Secrets of Super Achievers is written:
- For those who desire to plumb the depths of their own being and grow.
- For those not satisfied simply to be.
- For those who want to move beyond mediocrity and push themselves to excel.
In this book, James Barker shows how people can release their intrinsic potential and develop it to become Super Achievers.
Note: Excerpt of Henry Wanyoike’s story taken from the book (unpublished) Champion: Win the fight, live the dream by David Waweru