Jerry Traylor was an accomplished athlete who was born with ataxic cerebral palsy. “CP is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain that affects a person’s ability to control his or her muscles (CDC).” Jerry Traylor did not allow his cerebral palsy to dictate the things he did in life. He climbed Pike’s Peak as well as completed a 3,528 mile run journeying from San Francisco to New York.
Jerry Traylor was born in Nebraska and raised in a small town. His cerebral palsy was caused by the umbilical cord becoming entangled around his neck as he was being born. This caused him to have to have 14 different surgeries and large braces until he was a teenager. After that, he used crutches to walk. As a child, he felt that he did not fit in with his peers because they were able to do things physically that he could not. Even as a child, he said he had a goal of testing his limits.
After his childhood, he moved to Colorado to attend college. He obtained a degree in business administration. As a college student, he wanted to explore the possibilities of his life and decided to participate in a three mile race. That sparked his interest for marathons and he completed his very first marathon before his 24th birthday. That took place in Denver, Colorado.
After graduation, he worked with the U.S. treasury in West Virginia. While working there, he decided to conquer Pike’s Peak in Colorado. He ended up scaling the mountain a total of three times. Pike’s Peak is one of the multiple 14,000 feet mountains in Colorado and is known for being challenging. Along with normal physical challenge, the altitude lowers oxygen levels in the air, making it harder to get enough oxygen.
Jerry Traylor decided to leave his job with the U.S. Treasury to pursue his passion for motivational speaking. His tag line was ‘Do what you can with what you have.’
Jerry Traylor passed away in 2018 after battling cancer. His legacy of determination lives on today.