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Sports serves as inspiration for Traylor

By Gail Perez
The Pueblo Chieftain
Nov 2, 1991


No mountain is too high for Jerry Traylor to climb.

And no road is too long for the 1973 South High School graduate to run.

No matter what the sport or activity the 37-year-old Traylor has set his mind to doing, he's been able to accomplish it despite being born with cerebral palsy.

Although Traylor relies upon the use of crutches to walk, he has been able to accomplish things that many able-bodied individuals never accomplish in both sports and life in general.

On Nov. 20, Traylor will accomplish one more task in his long and distinguished athletic career when he joins seven other individuals as 1991 inductees into the Pueblo Greater Sports Hall of Fame.

"Anytime you're recognized by your peers it feels great," said Traylor in a phone interview from South Carolina, where he was giving motivational speeches.

Traylor's involvement in athletics date back to his high school days at South, where he was the manager for the Colt football, basketball and baseball teams.

"He was extremely reliable and would do anything asked of him without a complaint or asking help of anyone," said former South coach and teacher Bob Graham in his recommendation letter.

Although Traylor said he would've rather been a participant on the high school teams, being selected to serve as team manager was an honor.

"Some of the coaches made me feel useful," said Traylor. "Because of the words many of them said to me, I've been able to go forward today."

It wasn't until he attended Western State College that Traylor found out he was capable of participating in sports himself.

He soon began skiing, bowling, jogging and even tried playing intramural football during his college days at Western State College.

"Eventually I had to quit because they thought I was going to get hurt," said Traylor of his short football career. "But the neatest thing about it was that I tried and the efforts others made to allow me to try."

Traylor has competed in 28 marathons and over 300 smaller races including the Boulder Bolder.

In 1985, Traylor ran across the United States from San Francisco to New York in nine months. He has also skydived from 12,500 feet during an air show in West Virginia and has also climbed the 14,110-foot Pikes Peak three times.

But it's not the physical achievements Traylor treasures the most. It's his ability to motivate people into believing they can attain any goal they set out to do.

That's why after graduating from Western State College and taking a job with the U.S. Bureau of Public Debt in Parkersburg, W.Va., Traylor quit to devote his life to others by becoming a motivational speaker and doer.

Now, the Cincinnati, Ohio res ident gives speeches throughout the country to schools, church groups, service organizations and professional groups.

Although the majority of speeches are given to students, he has also spoken with various athletic teams including the Nebraska football team, the LSU basketball team and even the Cincinnati Reds.

"After I spoke to them, they went on to win the series," he said jokingly of the Reds winning the 1990 World Series.

When not traveling around the country giving speeches, Traylor said he still jogs regularly and occasionally plays golf.

"I'm not into running across the country or doing marathons anymore," he said. "I basically just do things to keep in shape."

Whether keeping in shape or motivating a group of young kids to stay off of drugs, each day remains a challenge for Traylor.

Click HERE for Traylor's Profile

Click HERE for Traylor's Obituary


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