A sports enthusiast and triathlete, Nick had the dream to one day race alongside his son. However, his son Rio was born with a rare chromosome disorder called ‘1q44 deletion denovo syndrome’, which gives him seizures; doesn’t allow him to speak; resulting in severe learning disabilities; gross motor skills disabilities, and sensory integration dysfunction, among other things.
Realizing that Rio may never be able to race like himself, and with encouragement from his wife, Nick decided to take Rio on a triathlon with him. He swam with Rio on a kayak; cycled with him on his bike; and ran with him in a push chair. And Rio loved it!
Exhilarated by how happy this race made his son, Nick now does triathlons all over the world with Rio, inspiring everyone on his way. This has lead to the establishment of #TeamAngelWolf as a UAE non-profit organization to spread awareness of their foundation ‘Reaching You’, whose aim is to help integrate children with special needs in society, and to promote health and fitness within the community.
So far, together Nick and Rio have done 6 half Ironman triathlons, the 7 Cyclist Challenge (3 days cycling through the 7 emirates), multiple marathons, triathlons, aquathons, duathlons, swims, cycle rides, runs of varying distances, obstacle races in the desert, and tower stair climbs.
If that doesn’t sound inspiring enough, Nick’s 10 year old daughter Tia (aka Little Wolf) recently did a triathlon with her brother Rio (aka Angel). She wanted to help spread her father’s message to other children.
AND, not long ago, Rio did his first triathlon.
Watch some highlights of their journey so far:
Nothing is impossible. Where there is a will, there is a way. Sometimes you just need to be reminded of it.
Sometimes circumstances can make it seem hard to stay inspired. Once you start losing inspiration, a spiral of doom begins, fueled by excuses and self-absorbed unhappiness. I am guilty of this sometimes, and the only way to get out of it is to make the effort to do what you have to, to snap out of it.
I find that things like reading inspiring books, watching videos on channels like TED, exercising and meditating, are ways to keep perspective, stay centred, and maintain the ability to channel your energy towards bigger and better things. Only such states can help you #startwithsomething. And I admit, I don’t do any of those things enough.
Nick’s story gave me the jump-start I needed today.