Posted Date: 05/03/2021
The Tobias family story touched everyone in the Clearwater community. After a severe car collision two years ago, Caleb Tobias has been steadily working on getting back to being a teenager. For Caleb, that includes playing the drums in the Clearwater High School band and running the 400-meter open event for the CHS track team.
The accident took his sight, but it did not take his playful spirit and hard-working attitude. With a tether connecting him to his seeing guide, Geri Beatty, a physical therapist at Clearwater USD 264, he is able to compete this season for CHS.
“Caleb is the epitome of an inspirational athlete. It is such an honor to be Caleb's seeing guide,” says Beatty. “He inspires me daily, and I am so very proud of his accomplishments. I am honored to be a part of his journey. I look forward to running with him daily.”
His parents designed a running line at home so that he can practice in the off-season. Two posts -- 120 meters apart -- connected with a line, allow Caleb to sprint on his own. How does he know when to stop? Pads on the ground alert him to the end of the line.
“I wish I could see,” says Caleb as he talks about what he does see: swirls of colors, mostly greens. The sunlight outside is too bright without his dark sunglasses.
His times this season have steadily improved. He medaled at the Medicine Lodge meet with a personal best time of 1 minute and 30 seconds. How does it feel to run the 400-meter dash? “It hurts!” he says.
“Caleb is so very humble. He brightens any room he walks into --- his willingness to try new activities along with his humor are a great combination! He amazes me with how brave he is --- allowing others to be his eyes; this requires an incredible amount of trust, especially when running! I am blessed to have the opportunity to truly get to know Caleb and serve as his ‘eyes’ for him throughout the track season,” says Beatty.
Thank you for the inspiration, Caleb! #WeAre264