Soaring Through Silent Skies: Deaf and Life ~ Sport and Success
Reviewed By: No Author
Susan Keefe reviews and promotes poetry, fiction and non-fiction, and is also author of the Toby's Tails series of children's books.
In this inspirational book the author, Brian Ehlers, really proves that Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote ‘life is what you make it,’ can be true. In revealing his story the readers get a glimpse into what it is like living life severely-hard-of-hearing and becoming a volleyball star.
Brian and his older sisters Debbie and Laurie were born in Minnesota, but the family moved to Southern California, and this is where he grew up. His childhood memories are happy as part of a loving and supportive family, however very early on his parents noticed him not responding to his name and it was discovered that he was severely hard-of-hearing. They decided to enroll him in the nearby John Tracy Clinic which was one of the world’s most acclaimed private providers of audiology diagnostics education and family support for pre-school to young hearing-impaired youth. Here he learned to master lip reading without a hearing aid, and this empowered the young Brian, enabling him to attend mainstream schools. As a child he embraced life, traveling with his family, enjoying adventures and this established his positive thinking attitude, allowing him to believe nothing could stop him from achieving his dreams.
He went to Chadwick private school and learned there that it takes commitment and dedication to succeed at sport. His two favorites were basketball and volleyball, however, it was volleyball which was to become his focus. After Chadwick, he went to Pepperdine and during the following years had an extremely successful sporting career.
It is through following his career the reader discovers the sacrifices and dedication required when training for the Olympics and major sporting events. Although in time, an injury forced retirement from playing professionally, his love of volleyball continued.
As husband to Gracie and father to Jake and Laney, his focus in life changed to being a good father, and a successful businessman. He discovered other ways of supporting his favorite sport and was eventually to accept an offer to come out of retirement and successfully coached volleyball at TCA. However, over time he realized his true passion was to focus on helping players at all levels get better, and achieve their own personal best, and teaching them that it was not all about winning, and as in with other avenues in life, you grow by facing adversity.
This attitude has helped the author face challenges in his own life, and as the book draws to a close we find him offering an important piece of advice to his readers, and this is, “Live your story, make a positive impact on the world, and leave a legacy that is yours.”
There is no doubt that the author has had an incredible impact on those around him throughout his life. His resilience, positive attitude, his impact on the people he has coached and the volleyball scene, and his passion for his children, make this memoir a truly unforgettable read.