In this Q&A with School Bus Fleet, conference speaker Roger Crawford shares how he became an accomplished tennis player despite having four impaired limbs.
What drew you to tennis, and how did you succeed in it?
I developed a fascination with tennis for two reasons. We lived across the street from tennis courts, and it was a sport I could play by myself. Since I was rather shy as a young boy, the backboard became my best friend. My success came from consistency. I quickly learned that if you could hit the ball over the net one more time than the other person, you’d win the point.
What did your parents instill in you that helped you overcome challenges in life?
There was a saying in our home that went like this: “You don’t live in pity city.” Another way of saying, “No excuses,” or, “Focus on what you have, not what you lack.” Also, [my parents] conveyed that everyone faced adversity — my challenge was visible.
Were there some people who tried to discourage you from pursuing your goals?
There will always be people that say, “You can’t.” When you hear those words, remember this person is actually saying, “I can’t.” Discouraged people like to discourage people.
What are some insights from your experience that could be applicable to school transportation professionals?
You touch lives every day! The time students spend with you may be the best part of their day. You do important work that makes a difference in the lives of others! Everyone remembers their bus driver.
Were school buses a part of your education?
I rode a school bus every day until I was a junior in high school. At 55 years of age, I can still remember my school bus driver’s name and how much they meant to me.