By Joseph Howell
Hayden Ewer is just like any other kid at Mountain Crest High School. He loves to hang out with friends and play sports.
When you see him and talk to him, you think he is just an average kid. Then you will see a small hearing ad coming out of his right ear.
Hayden was born with a condition that has caused his hearing to slowly deteriorate over the years, and he is almost completely deaf. He hasn’t had hearing in his left ear since the age of four and only has 20 percent hearing in his right ear.
By the age of 18, most patients with this condition are completely deaf, but Hayden doesn’t let this stop him.
When Hayden was younger, he played baseball and became very good. He continued that through the ninth grade, when his mother suggested he join the cross country team. He had never really run before, but he was open-minded and decided to give it a try.
He started with a time of about 23 minutes for a 5K, but Hayden was very dedicated and soon rose up in the ranks of runners. By the end of the season, he was running in the low 18 minutes.
Over the years he has competed with Mustang cross country, he continued to give his best effort and to excel. Hayden has competed at the varsity level since his sophomore season and his race time is now down to about 16 and a half minutes. The senior ran a 16:38.7 at the 2015 state championships to finish in the Top 50.
Hayden doesn’t ask for special treatment because he is deaf, and that’s the way it goes. He is treated as a teammate and a runner.
Disadvantages are part of the run for Hayden. He can’t hear when the gun goes off, so he watches the starter’s finger and his teammates to know when to go. He worries about jumping the gun or getting plowed over by runners behind him.
Hayden can’t hear the crowd cheering, coaches giving instructions or other runners coming up behind him. Adding to the difficulty, his condition affects his equilibrium and make him tire faster and become dizzy. It takes time for the dizziness to go away after each run, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to run, even through the dizziness.
As a teammate and a person, Hayden has been an inspiration to everyone that knows him. People have always doubted him, but every time they do, he proves them wrong. He doesn’t let anything, especially his condition, stop him.
Hayden gives his best at everything he does. I’m sure that whatever he wants to accomplish in life, he will have a very good chance of getting. He is dedicated and strives for what he wants and inspires us all to give our best and strive for what we want. Maybe one day we will have the strength that Hayden has every day.