Not Afraid (Excerpt from Kris Martin’s website)
Ask Kris Martin to do something for you and his standard response is “Not a problem.”
Stepping in a race car that reaches speeds of over 200 miles per hour. Not a problem. Speaking to over 300 hundred students who look at him as a role model. Not a problem.
Being born profoundly deaf. Not a problem.
In fact, being born deaf may have helped Kris. He learned to race by primarily using his tactile senses, and has given him a great ability to feel the track and use his instincts. Today Kris is actually able to receive partial hearing through the use of a implant he had surgically implanted when he was eight. A company Phonak Hearing Systems created an audio device that uses radio frequency which allows Kris to communicate with his spotters.
Kris certainly has the talent to race and he comes with racing in his blood. Warren Coniam(Uncle) and Doug Syer(Grandfather) are both in the Canadian Racing Hall of Fame. Kris also is strong proponent of giving back to those who are deaf and hard of hearing. A role model for many, Kris speaks to children and charities across North America. His speeches give hope to not only children, but to parents, too–that their children can defy any odds that may be placed against them.
Ask Kris if he is ready. He will tell you…not a problem.
I come from a racing family.
My grandfather is my hero in my world. He is that one started our racing family history since he was 18 yr old. He had seven kids!
When I was little watching my family race, I knew that I all I wanted to do was race. It was my dream!
There were a lot of expectations because of my family’s success in racing, but I took it as a challenge to follow in their footsteps and make them proud. NOT A PROBLEM…..
I loved Go Karting and I was lucky to have success and travel across North America.
I had a lot of fun racing and meeting friends at the track. It gave me a lot of confidence in life and in school to know I can be successful.
I had to learn how to drive the kart by feel. I got the feel of the car in my hands, my legs and my butt. I can feel if there is anything wrong with the car immediately. I do not need to hear anything go wrong.
One Thing I’m Proud of: 6X Time Karting Championship!
My dream has always been to race Stock Car!
I had other drivers tell track officials they were concerned to race against me because they were worried I could not hear and could not drive–and would wreck them. After seeing me on the track they quickly realized I am a driver and could handle the track.
I am able to race because of special hearing system from Phonak that allows me to communicate with my spotter and crew chief.
I raced in the Nascar Arca at Daytona International Super Speedway, LeMan 24HR Series road racing.
I decided to get involved with public speaking at the age of thirteen. I became involved with VOICE and CHHA organizations, and I was able to talk to children and adults that had to face challenges just like I did. I like to show them that they can overcome anything as long as they are passionate, work hard and believe in themselves. I have spoken all over the world to thousands of people. I take it very seriously to show everyone my passion that you can achieve your dreams with whatever challenge you face. NOT A PROBLEM…..
I followed my dreams and I was able to achieve my dream of being a race car driver.
Everyone has their own set of challenges in their lives. I am proof that if you are passionate about what you do, then there is nothing that you can stop you. Have confidence and believe in yourself. Don’t let being deaf/hard of hearing stop you from living your dreams. NOT A PROBLEM…..
Kris Martin Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz6xBSTg9Lw
More on Kris Martin: Kris Martin, A Race Car Driver
3 thoughts on “Kris Martin: A Passion for Racing”
Kris is a great example for both kids & adults with hearing loss. I recall Kris, Cathy Peterson and I going to a school on the west mountain a number of years ago where three young students were wearing hearing aids. Kris brought his whole racing kit to show the students from grades 1, 2 & 3. We took photos of all the children trying on his specially equipped helmet. They just loved it. Also, I believe the children without hearing loss left school that day with a much better understanding of what hearing loss was all about. They were reminded that some people wear glasses to see better . . . and that some people wear hearing aids to hear better. Canadian HARD of HEARING Assocation (CHHA-Hamilton & Area Branch) http://www.chha-hamilton.ca
I am so proud to know you, Kris. You are truly amazing. Take it from one who knows!
Wow. Reading this article had inspired me. My teacher, Mrs. Morash, told me all about this great guy. In fact, she taught him for a few years. It’s fascinating to hear that nothing stopped him to become who he truly is. It honestly changed the way I perceive my own capabilities. Kris is a public speaker who motivates plenty of children and adults to live their dreams. It must be very challenging to drive a race car that reaches the speed of over 200 miles per hour with all the noises. When learning how to drive a go-kart, he didn’t need to HEAR anything go wrong, but instead felt the surroundings. I will not let my weaknesses define me. NOT A PROBLEM…