Sunday, 31 August 2014


Everyday I wake up, I open my eyes and I look at Indy laying on his back wagging his tail.  Everyday, this is what I wake up to.  I see the yellow on my walls, the sun streaming through my windows, the dust on my lamp shade.  I see!  As you read this blog, I know that you do the same wake open your eyes, and you see!  Now imagine....close your eyes....and imagine that for the rest of your life, all you see is darkness.  Would you have the guts....yes...the continue to do something that you love?  In most cases...for those reading...that is running.  Would you still run if you couldn't see?  Well today, I met a young lady who does just that.  She runs...and she's a speedy gal with a 5k PB of 28.17.  She's done things I only have on my bucket run in Central Park.  Oh, but that's not it...she is also a rower!  And this fall - in two weeks actually - I'll be guiding her in only her 2nd 10km race.
Stephanie and I after running the oval.
Stephanie has a disease in her retina's that has caused her to be visually impaired.  It started at a young age and has gotten worse as she has gotten older to the point that she can only tell the difference between light and dark.  She recently (in the last two years) has had Jacuzzi to help guide her, before that, using a cane to lead the way.  Jacuzzi is absolutely adorable and guards Steph like a hawk.  She is not a running dog and so we tied her while we ran laps.
I have never guided before and Steph was very patient as I learned the tricks of the trade.  We used a tether that we each held on to as we ran.  The great thing is that we are about the same height and have similar strides, making it easier to be in sync.  I was amazed at how easily she navigated the corners of the track! Only a few times did I voice directions...and only because we had to navigate a few children on bikes.
Stephanie is also president of Blind Sport NS.  Amazing.  I strongly urge runners, cyclists, swimmers, etc to reach out to your local organization and become a guide for athletes who require one.
I know, as athletes, when we have an injury that sidelines us from a goal, it is difficult and painful to realize that our goal will have to be postponed. It's hard to have worked so hard towards something, put in many miles, changed our diets, spent extra time cross training...and for what?  To have a goal disappear before our eyes.  But that's just hasn't is only postponed.  9 out of 10 times, our injuries will heal and we will be back at training before we know it.  What if we could never run, swim, bike, etc again?  How would that feel?  Next time you are out on a run, and you have to stop to walk or stop short of your expected mileage, try thanking your body for letting you go as far as you did...and not criticizing yourself for falling short of expectations that you have placed on yourself!!  I know next long run I do, I'll be running every kilometer as if Steph was by my side for she is an inspiration of overcoming obstacles every day!!!  She has plans to do a half marathon...and I want to be at the finish line...if not beside her when she completes it!  Stephanie believes she can, and therefore I know she will!  Just like each of you....DREAM IT, BELIEVE IT, ACHIEVE IT!!!


  1. Wow that's pretty cool! I admire her perseverance. Another example of why we should never take our health for granted!

  2. Great post. Great way to help a fellow runner. Good job Courtney.