Phil Timp encourages C-N students to climb mountains

Phil Timp challenges students during a recently chapel service.

Phil Timp challenges students during a recently chapel service.

For Phil Timp, life is about climbing mountains.

The motivational speaker shared with Carson-Newman students during its April 2 morning chapel service how he has traversed peaks — many from the seat of his wheelchair.

In 2011, Timp was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He shared his transformational story of how he is coping with his situation with a powerfully positive perspective on life.

However, his mountain climbing began far earlier when he was still a long distance runner and triathlete. Since the 1990s, he has shared his family’s story about parenting his severely disabled daughter Beth. Beth cannot talk and lived in a world of seclusion until a breakthrough involving blocks of letters. For the first time Beth communicated to the outside world. Her first word was “smart.”

“We believed we had not only climbed the mountain, but deserved to slide down the other side,” Timp said about the breakthrough with his daughter.

Beth graduated from Abingdon High School as a member of the National Honor Society.

It wasn’t until 2011 that Timp faced his next great mountain. His diagnosis of ALS is terminal, but that hasn’t stopped Timp from living the life he has left to the fullest.

“Allowing God to interact in my every waking moments has allowed me to take on a terminal illness with the right mindset,” he told the C-N students.

Timp encouraged his audience to face their own mountains and learn from his own determination to live with passion.

“Let’s live at 110 percent and let God walk us up that mountain no matter how long and steep it is.”

Timp serves as senior vice president at The Corporate Image PR firm and is the founder and executive director of The Beth Foundation, a non-profit that provides financial assistance to families with children with rare or severe disabilities. He is also an award-winning PR professional and journalist.