132:Simon Wheatcroft - Finding Resilience Through The Adversity Of Losing His Sight

Guest Overview 

Simon Wheatcroft is living proof that resilience is born from adversity, accepting that things will go wrong, not go to plan, and being prepared to embrace failure without fear. 

Having lost his sight at an early age Simon used running solo as his foundation to building an abundant life as a runner, motivational speaker, and now teacher.  


In part one Simon discusses the impact of growing up in the 80’s, in a small coal-mining town in the North of England, and the devastating social and economic impact of the coal mine closures 


Simon recounts the experience of growing up suffering from a degenerative eye disorder that ultimately resulted in his loss of sight by his late teens. 

Simon discusses how this impacted his ambitions, his education but how the degeneration of his site did help him develop spatial, memory, and mental acuity skills that prepared him to confront the challenges of living without sight.


Having lived many years in a state of denial, Simon explains the pivotal point in his life when he accepted his condition and embraced running as a means of creating a new pathway in the world. 

We discuss the many challenges he faced in those early days, the value of the voice direction of the Runkeeper app, and his ability to sense what was underfoot. He discusses the daily challenge and stress of running solo without site, confronting the fear of not seeing oncoming obstacles or cars.  

We then cover his boundary-pushing attitude, that led him to the US and running 200 miles from Boston to New York to line up for his first New York marathon. 

Simon explains the serendipitous moment he met the voice of the Runkeeper app in a running store in Boston and the power her voice had in giving him the belief he could run solo. 


In part two Simon explains how he discovered the Haptic technology company Wear Works and how the combination of sensors enabled him to run races and sense people around him

We discuss the future advances using Liidar technology to create 3 depth maps of spaces and object recognition technology that will transform the lives of people with visual impairments


Simon explains the serendipitous moments in life that led him to that enabled him to study clinical psychology, computational neuroscience, and AI in later life and led him on a motivational public speaking stage. 

Simon discusses resilience, dealing with adversity, fear, failure, and managing pain. 

Simon reveals how he is changing his career to teaching and explains his passion to provide visually impaired children with computer science skills to live an equal opportunity to life.  

Simon and I discuss accessibility and how web page metadata and hierarchies work.

Simon also reflects on his wife’s enduring support.  

And of course all our quick-fire questions 


I am sure you will feel uplifted, inspired and energized by the life story of Simon Wheatcroft 


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Links in the show 

Runkeeper

The voice of Runkeeper 

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