Indigenous Marathon Runner Whose Life Was Saved By An Olympic Dream Despite Dealing With Mental Health Addictions And Growing Up In Poverty And Violence.
Rilee Manybears openly shares that his journey to becoming a marathon runner was grueling. His childhood was marred by the shadows of substance abuse issues in his home and the harsh realities of poverty and violence. Faced with dismal circumstances like lack of food, electricity, or even safe drinking water, his resilience was tested at every step. Adding to his hardships were the tragic early suicides of three dear family members.
Losing his father shortly after completing high school led Rilee down the distressing path of mental health issues such as depression and substance addictions, ultimately culminating in a suicide attempt. Gratefully, through the loving intervention of his younger sister, he found a lifeline as she persuaded Rilee to set his goals on paper. This brilliant strategy led Rilee towards a significant life transformation.
His love for running was accidentally discovered in fifth grade when he competed in a two-lap sprint, clad in long jeans and skateboard sneakers, he stunned everyone by clinching victory in a two-lap sprint. Despite his initial dislike for training, Rilee’s family, particularly his younger brother, persistently pushed him to continue. The world of running would be his escape from his troubled life. This support paid dividends as Rilee triumphantly clinched a gold medal in the 8km event at the World Indigenous Games in Brazil, an achievement he accomplished at the age of 22.
In a bold display of resilience and unwavering determination, Rilee relocated to Kenya with the purpose of training alongside globally recognized runners. He left Canada having no prior connections or concrete plan for his life there, his unflinching dedication guided his path towards the attainment of further goals.
Tragedy soon struck again when Rilee received a diagnosis of Wolff Parkinson’s, a serious heart condition. After enduring an unsuccessful surgery with a second one impending, Rilee showed his indomitable spirit by participating in the prestigious Boston Marathon only 21 days later.
Rilee, esteemed as a guiding light by scores of people, shares his journey of incredible tenacity and how he maneuvered through the numerous roadblocks life set in his path. He embodies the virtues of firm resolve, wisdom and maturity, rare for his age—qualities that define him as a leader in the Blackfoot community. Rilee is driven by his vision and objectives, both in his sporting career and personal life. Equipped with his resilient spirit and optimistic mindset, Rilee tackles every obstacle life hurls at him, gearing up for his next ambitious accomplishments while fulfilling his responsibilities as a community leader.
Racing Against Odds: Journey from Hardship to Triumph
This motivational presentation will take you through Rilee’s struggles, from battling poverty, substance abuse, and mental health challenges, to becoming an accomplished marathon runner. Rilee discusses how he turned setbacks into comebacks and became an inspiring leader in the Blackfoot community. Audiences will learn about resilience, goal setting, and how to take charge of their lives.
From Struggles to Strides: Resilience in Overcoming Adversity
Gripping and inspiring, Rilee shares his personal journey from a challenging childhood plagued by substance abuse, poverty, and mental health struggles, to his transformative journey into a resilient marathon runner. This indigenous youth-focused presentation offers hope and encouragement, demonstrating how perseverance and setting clear goals can guide one toward a significant life change, even in the face of adversity.