“When I stood on the starting line at the Boston Marathon two runners down from Alberto Salazar (then the world record holder) and Bill Rodgers (four-time winner at the Boston Marathon), I wondered, ‘Dick, what in the heck are you doing on the same line with these guys?’“
It was at that moment that an inner voice spoke to Dick Beardsley with a reassuring message.
“Dick, you deserve to be here, you’ve done the work.”
If the name Dick Beardsley seems somewhat familiar to you, then you might be remembering the 1982 Boston Marathon. Beardsley was in a squeaker of a race with Alberto Salazar, fact is, it was the closest finish in history of the marathon, as both runners broke records. The most memorable moment of that race was when a motorcycle cut Beardsley off near the end of the marathon, a marathon which he lost inside of two seconds. You have to be thinking, how did Beardsley ever get over that race! Was he able to accept the results and move on with his life? And how is the man doing today?
It was years later in 1989, when Dick was working at his dairy farm, that a tragic accident with a tractor would change his life forever. Although he managed to stop the equipment, the damage was done. “To this day, I still don’t remember how I did it,” Dick recalls. “I broke all the ribs on my right side, my right arm, mangled my left leg, and beat up my head pretty badly. I was crawling on my belly toward the house when I was found. I was laid up for five months.”
That would begin a dark and challenging chapter of Dick Beardsley’s life. He was involved in three serious automobile accidents. Blind-sided by another driver, and Dick spent 15 days in the hospital with an injured back and neck. Another time, he was hit by a truck, which put him back in the hospital for two weeks. A month later, again in a fierce snowstorm, he was in an accident, and rolled his vehicle numerous times, damaging his already tender back and neck. He underwent three back operations and knee surgery.
Each time, Dick was prescribed medication for the pain. At times, he was taking as many as 90 pills a day. “I knew I was addicted,” Dick recalls. “But at the same time, I was in denial.”
His addiction had spun out of control, big time. “My whole world revolved around pain medication.”
Dick Beardsley was arrested September 1996. Charged with forging prescriptions, he was sentenced to five years’ probation and 460 hours of community service.
This moment was a clarion-call that something had to change!
A story of life’s worse moments, including the suicide of his only son, Andy, and how one man survives it all. Now only does he survive it all, but his outlook and optimism will give you hope and appreciation that life’s blessings are bigger than any one moment!
The story continues on the Brink of Greatness Podcast…
The Next Leap Forward
Wow! What an incredible story. I hope you get as much out of it as I did. My sense is that we’ve picked up a great new friend in Dick Beardsley. I want to use this time to fill you in on some of the cool things Dick is doing in the world today.
Motivational/Inspirational Speaker • Suicide Survivor of Loss • Farm Accident Survivor • Prescription Drug Addiction Survivor • Record Breaking Marathon Runner • Famous 1982 Boston Marathon Runner • Minnesota Native • Author • Fishing Guide • Innkeeper • Husband • Father • Subject of a feature film.
Dick Beardsley is one of the world’s most extraordinary, well respected, and compelling motivational / inspirational keynote speakers. Dick’s inspirational international best selling autobiography Staying the Course, A Runners Toughest Race and the subject of the best selling book Duel in the Sun: The Story of Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and America’s Greatest Marathon. Dick is also the subject of a feature film being produced entitled Against the Wind.
Dick has been the keynote speaker at Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, conferences, conventions, corporate events, fundraisers, galas, sporting events, prisons, schools and drug treatment centers, to name a few. Anywhere motivation, inspiration and hope is needed. Dick has spoken to countless number of groups all over the world, ranging in size from 5 people to 15,000 people.
As Promised, the link to Dick and Jill’s Bed & Breakfast: https://www.lakebemidjibandb.com/.