If you want to run forever, some times you can not run today – I will not be running in the 2014 marathon
Life is funny. Hardly anything seems to go as predicted or hoped for. On the other hand, if it has, then perhaps you have not taken too many risks. Me, I love risks and adventure. This journey of marathon has certainly been an adventure filled with risks. As I have learned in 2012 and 2013, you can plan for what you believe will happen but will then be faced with elements you had never imagined. The brutal heat of 2012 struck me down and then the terrible bombing of 2013 redefined what I take for granted in life. Well, the 2014 year has introduced me to an element of challenge that I would have never predicted would stand in the way of me and finally cross the finish line at the Boston marathon. That element is myself. Continue reading
I remind myself every day that people have good intentions. Sure, they may do or say something that is ignorant, but they do have good intentions. This does not allow for me to feel that what they have said or done is acceptable, but it simply helps me understand and be empathetic. More often than not, I find myself working very hard to practice this when people are trying to be of assistance, but are actually being insensitive and honestly unawaringly insulting.
I have been working my way through another slight set back this year. In late January, I slightly twisted my left ankle during a run with my guide for the marathon this year. It was not a terrible twist, but the issue is that it was the ankle and leg I have had injuries with over the last 2 years. Because of this, this slight twist had a strong impact on my ability to run. Fortunately, I have been seeing a physical therapist and I am back in running shape. I am in a bit of a time crunch, but with a solid 7 weeks left to run, I feel confident that this is plenty of time to fit in some good long runs and be prepared for the marathon this year. Well, it is enough time for an amature runner to be able to train to the extent that they know they will be able to cross the finish line of a marathon. That’s good enough. Continue reading
For as long as I can remember, I have narrowly escaped numerous situations where I should have suffered grave injuries. For some reason, I have not been as hurt as one would have expected. On one hand, many of these situations have possibly been due to my constant need to adapt to the loss of vision and not meeting these new demands as well as I should. On the other hand, I believe I am also simply a goof. Regardless, the combination of these two qualities makes for some dicey, yet interesting experiences. Continue reading
Like I have stated before, I would have stopped doing this a long time ago if I was only doing it for myself. Marathon training is demanding and exhausting on a physical and mental level. Many people have asked me what I believe is the most challenging part about doing all of this. Many things are challenging, but I would say that the tole all of this takes on my body is one of the most exhausting pieces to this journey.
Until I lose enough fat off my thighs, I typically develop a rash from engaging in long runs. When I start focusing on a marathon, some of the first few long runs result in a raw rash on my thighs. Continue reading
I have been reflecting on what has been posted on this blog. There is much about perspective, successes in culture and challenges in culture towards disability as well. I have written about the feelings I experience when I run and what this has meant for others. Many powerful and important topics have been covered on this blog and in my outreach. On the other hand, I have neglected to write about something that is not only important, but inevitable to experience in my life and others who are in a similar situation as myself. That experience is the feeling of realizing when your vision has further dwindled… the feeling of knowing that something just happened that never would have happened in the past. The feeling of telling yourself it was just a random accident and that you were spacing out. Continue reading
I have a wonderful job at Berklee College of Music and every October, my office brings a group of students into the woods of New Hampshire to discuss and explore identity, privilege, oppression and social change. It is an incredible experience for both the students and the facilitators. We utilize a space called the Sargent Center, which is actually owned and operated by Boston University. It is located on a dirt road in the small town of Hancock. It is much like where I grew up, in Barnstead, New Hampshire.
A new colleague, friend and fellow running enthusiast came on the trip as a facilitator. She had mentioned that she was training for her first 5k. I told her that it would be great to run together around the grounds, as there is an extensive dirt road around the center of the facility that I believe stretches just over 1 mile. Fortunately, she liked the idea and we both brought our running gear. Continue reading
You never really know what direction this blog is going in. Well, here’s a hell of a turn off the beaten path. Let’s make this clear: I am sharing my observations and thoughts, not my experiences. If you’re someone who thinks this may be “inappropriate”, I say close this page. If you’re hesitant about reading on, be good to yourself and reflect on this…
-Anyone with a disability has thought about this. Perhaps specifically about sex, or about intimacy in general. I would think any person with any disability of any age has thought about this.
-If you’re a parent or family member of one with a disability, you have probably been curious as well. Will my child/family member have a challenge in experiencing intimacy? Yes and no. Challenges are what we make of them. By “we”, I mean those with disabilities as well as those without disabilities. Continue reading
Recently, I started reading a book titled Pride against prejudice: Transforming attitudes to disability, by Jenny Morris (1991 original publication). Jenny is out of the UK and became partialy paralyzed when she was 33. She was tending to work at her home when she heard and saw a very young child standing at the edge of a cliff that was 20 feet above a railway. Jenny went to rescue the child, but she encountered her own troubles and fell off of the cliff; immediately breaking her back and becoming paralyzed from the waist down.
This experience obviously impacted Jenny in many ways. Fortunately, one of them turned into becoming very active in fighting disablism and educating the world on this complex topic, as all topics of oppression, culture and history related to identity are. The book that I am currently reading strongly incorporates the feminist perspective and a lens for viewing disability in general, but also in specific for women. However, the feminist perspective and movement is not just for women. I strongly believe it is a philosophy, a study, a lens and way of life which can and does bring the world under a critical scope that betters the lives of all. Not just women. So for my “brothers” out there, take a chill pill and check this stuff out, for what it really is. Not just what you see on TV or hear in the locker room. Continue reading