Paralympic Cyclist, Mental Health Advocate, Mentor
Proving that mindset is the key to overcoming adversity and self-limiting beliefs
As a charismatic and empathic speaker who has a strong rapport with audiences, Paralympian Peter Ryan, who is legally blind, invites people to get out of their comfort zones and make the best of their life. And his own story is proof that it is possible.
Peter has a powerful personal story: a promising athlete who when he found himself losing his sight, slid into alcoholism. It was only through his family’s intervention that he ended up in recovery. Today he is nine years sober, studying for a Master’s in Sports Psychology and shortly heading to the Tokyo Olympics. He also speaks regularly at events, for clients of all varieties and scales. It’s the commonalities in his story that resonate with audiences: life can go awry at any time, but Peter shows how we can change our mindset and live a life in and of balance.
The man who at 15 had an international soccer trial was 18 when his eyesight began to fail and 20 when he was diagnosed with Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy which left him with between 5 and 10 percent peripheral vision. Grieving, unable to cope with the loss of identity, and without a job or sport to occupy him, Peter’s thoughts became ‘totalitarian’. He realised he needed a new ‘script’ for life.
Sport became the first step back towards a semblance of normality. Peter discovered a talent for cycling which resulted in him becoming the ‘stoker’ of a formidable two-man cycling team with Sean Hahessy as the pilot. The two competed in the Paralympics in Rio in 2016, and today Peter is an accomplished Paralympic cyclist who also does ultra-endurance charity events as a way to ‘give back’.
In his talks, Peter speaks about self-limiting beliefs and the ways we can ‘train our brain’ so that we can live a full, integrated life. He shows, through his own experience, how to move from a place where we are out of tune with ourselves, to one in which our public and private selves exist in harmony.
With his mantra of Control – Influence – Accept, Peter leaves audiences with a new outlook on their own lives. His honesty on his journey over the past decade offers an extremely insightful and in-depth look at mental health and the end results of not coping properly with life’s adversities.
Motivational – Same vision, different outlook
We lie to ourselves, and it doesn’t serve us. We care too much about what people think. In this talk, Peter speaks about the value of ‘sitting’ in our own vulnerability rather than being afraid of it, and how this can build our confidence and help us live a more balanced, authentic life.
Get out of your comfort zone – there’s a much better place to be
The randomness of life is a ticking time bomb, so make the best of things. Having gone off the rails before he stopped and took stock, in this talk Peter looks at why we can find ourselves held back or not doing the things we want to do. His story is an invitation to instill gratitude and excitement back in our lives.
“Peter has done a number of corporate talks on our behalf. He is an engaging and humorous speaker, delivering his talks in a very genuine and motivating way. Peter is a pleasure to deal with and feedback from attendees at his talks is always very positive.” Nicola Shields, B2B Marketing Manager, Vhi
“Peter Ryan has presented to a number of audiences on behalf of Fighting Blindness over the last number of years. He is a wonderful speaker and story-teller with an ability to eloquently capture the audience’s attention and imagination from start to finish. Most recently at our Retina conference 2016, the audience (made up of 200 international scientists, clinicians and researchers) were completely engaged and inspired by him” – Kevin Whelan, Fighting Blindness CEO
“Peter Ryan was the after dinner speaker at our annual Family Business Christmas Dinner. Peter iterated the importance of family support in tough times, which resonated with our guests. Peter has amazing positivity, a great sense of humour and has a very relevant and inspirational message to share” – Orla Delaney Business Development Manager, DCU Leadership & Talent Institute
“Peter Ryan tells a great story of overcoming personal adversity with great insight and with lessons for us all. Peter not only tells his own story with unique passion but has lessons for life and business at all levels in his fight back from a Tipperary hurling minor who went blind to Paralympic heights” – Eoghan Stack, CEO, DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurs