Sports Performance Specialist Rob Sears makes his debut on his YouTube channel, Blind Focus at 6pm this evening. Here, he explains how his eyesight has deteriorated rapidly since we last featured him in 2020 – but how he is determined to help other people around the world
Life has been crazy since October 2020. I got married in London in September 2021, just as Covid restrictions got lifted so we had family and a few close friends at Marylebone Registry Office before heading to our wedding reception at the Hard Rock Café on Old Park Lane. Best day of my life.
At the end of October, I caught Covid for the first time and over the next six months my health deteriorated. My Psoriatic arthritis kept flaring up, I became diabetic, and my eyesight deteriorated rapidly.
I already had a genetic eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), which was diagnosed when I was young. It is a disease with no cure which normally leads to blindness – sometimes severe but not complete blindness, and sometimes complete blindness. My deterioration had been gradual but, post-Covid, my eyesight deteriorated faster than it ever had.
After nearly six years of having my personal training and sports therapy studio in Norwich, I decided to open my treatment room at home and continue my personal training, and my triathlon and running coaching online. My health was a big part of the decision and financially it was crazy trying to run a business with costs of everything increasing rapidly.
I needed to regain my health and decided to limit the number of clinical hours each week. This allowed me to look at other opportunities to use my skills and in May 2022, I joined Change, Grow, Live who are Norfolk’s drug and alcohol service, working a few days a week in addition to running Focus 4 Fitness.
In 2023 I made my debut in paratriathlon (triathlon for people with a physical disability). I had to have my sight officially classified to allow me to compete and that’s when I was told I was now considered to be Severely Sight Impaired.
Knowing how close to blindness I had become, focused my attention on the one thing that always got me over my own challenges in life – my desire to help people. I just didn’t know how. I love listening to podcasts and audiobooks and I was listening to a podcast where they were talking about YouTube being one of the biggest searched platforms on the internet for people needing help for everything you can imagine.
Six months later and I launched Blind Focus with Rob Sears, with the intention of using everything I have spent my career learning and using in my personal and professional life, to achieve what I have and overcome what I have – to help other people do the same.
On Friday the 2nd of February at 6pm I make my debut on my channel. I realised that writing content and producing videos is great but for people to really connect with my videos – they need to see me living and breathing the content I produce, in my own life.
I didn’t want to be in front of the camera. I don’t like talking on camera, but I realised my personal story might connect with people in a way that my other videos didn’t. I took to the streets of Norwich with the help of videographer Kian Goddard (KJG Media) and I am delighted to see how the videos have come out. I hope my story resonates with people and they want to follow the journey with me and watch all my other videos as well!
My dreams for the channel are to create something that I can look back on and be proud of. Being able to use my disability to inspire, motivate and help other people around the world is such an incredible gift. And to be able to use my city as the backdrop for those videos is an absolute bonus!
Rob Sear’s video, “Why I Started Blind Focus” is available on his YouTube channel from 6pm tonight (Friday February 2, 2024). Search Blind Focus with Rob Sears or use this link: youtube.com/@BlindFocusRS. Blind Focus with Rob Sears is also on Facebook – as is Rob, if you would like to contact him directly.
Featured image – supplied