Running your own race with Gerrard Gosens
There isn’t much that Gerrard Gosens hasn’t done – chocolatier, Paralympian, Dancing with the Stars contestant, Ironman and adventurer.
His list of achievements would be impressive on their own, but the fact that Gerrard was born with congenital blindness makes him all the more inspiring.
Gerrard doesn’t often define himself by his disability and from a young age he was eager to give everything a go – something his parents encouraged. While he says there have been many failures, there have been so many more successes.
“For me it’s always been about the journey regardless of the enormity of the challenge,” he said.
His guide dogs have played a large part in these successes and since his first dog Joey at the age of 16, he has relied on them to get him through the day.
“Funny as it may seem, on many occasions I actually have more trust in my dogs than I do have in some humans,” Gerrard said.
“All my injuries have been because of my guide runners because they’d run me into parked cars, trees, posts and poles.
“The list goes on and that’s purely because they may have a lapse in concentration.”
Gerrard was the youngest person to receive a guide dog and noted that each of the four dogs he has had in his life had their own personality and way of working – much like cars.
His current dog, black Labrador Boss, is all about efficiency.
“Boss is more like the Prius, he’s about the economy, he’s about working slowly but he’s about saving energy as well.”
Gerrard is also a Project Manager for MAX Employment which helps people with disabilities find work, upskill and reach professional goals.
He feels that many employers still have fear around people with disabilities and there is often a focus of what you can and cannot say.
“There are still those perceptions out there and for me it’s about breaking it down,” Gerrard said.
Listen below to hear more from Gerrard Gosens.