I feel deep gratitude for my family & friends that are my running guides. I couldn't do it without them. I look forward to our time together and the opportunity to run and talk together. I have loved getting to know them better. It is indeed a blessing. Each time they knock on my door, I feel gratitude and appreciation.
As I've mentioned (sorry if you've read this many times :), I prefer a tether which my guide/friend puts one end around their arm just above their shoulder and I hold on to the other end that is looped. My friend Shannon made me the most awesome tether. I actually ordered one online and it didn't even compare - it was too long, itchy fabric, not stretchy at all. I have a way of losing things :) and this tether has been my friend and not gotten lost for almost two years. Love it. I hope this isn't sounding like too much of a hint to make me another one, Shannon :). Seriously, though hers is the best! Love this red, sweaty, stretchy piece of fabric!
One of the reasons that I prefer a tether is because I am used to following the movement of a guide dog and the harness -- with a tether I am basically doing the same thing with a dear friend. If my friend veers to the left, I recognize it from their movement and veer left without us having to interrupt our conversation about funner topics! They still do some verbal cues but much is done through following the signals I get from this tether. We are running at the same pace - with me just a pace behind.
I run with a vest that says - blind athelete. This is simply an identifier so that someone else is aware to possibly watch out or step aside.
Today we ran 20 miles. I have never run this far and it was amazing. It was hard. It was challenging. It was also exhilerating. It was a beautiful morning as we started out with a little coolness in the air and ended with it being hot. I am full of gratitude for my friends, for my healthy body, and that now we get three days of rest :)! I also have some pretty great support at home. Cricket pops up in the morning and eagerly follows me around and sees us off. She is waiting by the door when we return. It was early, early this morning and she was still there. Steve also was there to cheer us on as we left. Thank you to both of you :)!
I tell clients often ... acknowledge your victories! Recognize that 'marathon' you have gone through with compassion. You did your best. True, I'm blogging about this experience, however, my victory is not in telling someone else that I did this -- the victory happened inside me one step at a time. What happened to that girl who walked into the stop sign and walked so cautiously for a while? She learned how to walk safely with a cane ... then a guide dog and she is now running!
I'm not sure why Steve just smiles when I say - okay, I'm just going to do one marathon and then I can cross it off the bucket list. Sometimes my head is just swimming (oh, I haven't swam for a long time!) in ideas of what else I want to do in life :)! Perhaps it is time to create that list of 50 things before 50, right!