Inspiration from Tennis - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Inspiration from Tennis

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By Joey Donia - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  Harlon Matthews is really good at wheel chair Tennis. The United States Tennis Assosciation ranks him as one of the best players in the country.  It's hard to believe Harlan first picked up a Tennis racquet just eight years ago.

I started playing in 2001. I was sitting at home on anti-depressants not feeling good about disability. Some one encouraged me to play and the crazy thing is that's what changed my life" said Matthews.

For nearly twenty years Harlan fought a neurologic syndrom and eventually lost the battle.

"I absolutely wore my body out trying to prove I wasn't disabled but I was and so I started having to use the wheel chair in 2001 and it was a big change for me."

A change that Harlan discovered was for the better.

"Society leads us to believe that that's a step backwards. When in all actuality for me it was several steps forward."

And now Harlan is a certified tennis instructor teaching others how to play the very game that changed his life.

"I know today nine years later or really since '82 why I have a disablity and that's to work with other people with diabilities and to get them off the couch and get out here an be an athlete. So that's why God made me who I am."

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