Photo courtesy of Geoff Turner.
Geoff Turner JD ’99 had little interest in running, until he was told he couldn’t.
When a serious motorcycle accident forced doctors to amputate his right leg above the knee in 1990, the challenge of learning to walk again wasn’t big enough.
“They told me I wouldn’t be able to run,” he said. “I’m stubborn. I don’t like it when people tell me I can’t do things, so the first thing I tried to do was run.”
But when he set off on his first prosthetic leg, which he describes as “a foot on a stick,” he fell and broke his arm.
Undeterred, Turner pushed himself. Early morning runs turned into 10K races, which led to the ultimate race: marathons, which he completed in San Francisco, Chicago, and Helsinki.
Turner developed a passion for triathlons—a grueling test of endurance in running, cycling, and swimming. He conquered the New York Triathlon and placed second in San Francisco’s Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in the “Challenged Athlete” relay.
His next goal is to compete in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. His training requires nine workouts a week, even as he works full time at a law firm as an intake supervisor for new business.
Still, he makes time to volunteer with the Challenged Athletes Foundation, mentoring others who are adjusting to amputation. “Our goal is to show people that just because you’ve lost an arm or leg doesn’t mean you can’t participate,”he said. “Through sport, people regain confidence and put themselves back out in the world.