Blind and on the Run: My First Marathon

I’ve been trying to find the time to write this post but I just feel as though there hasn’t been any. Until now.

It’s marathon week. If you follow me on Twitter you’ll find me talking a lot about it. But, with a 140 character limit it’s very difficult to sum up how I feel. To be honest, I am overcome with emotion.

If you would’ve asked me 7 years ago when I started racing if a marathon was in my future, I’m not sure I would’ve said yes. Just starting out with the occasional 5K at that time was a big feat. Sure, I ran in college for exercise and I loved to run but I can’t honestly say that running a marathon ever crossed my mind. I ran for me, not for 26.2 miles. I ran for the fun of it, not for the pain of it. But then something clicked when I turned 30. It was as if my purpose in life because clear.

I RUN…FOR ME. I don’t run for anyone else. I run to escape from the world but I also run to embrace it. I run because it makes me feel good, it makes me happy. I run because no one ever told me I couldn’t.

This is what I said to my ocularist when he questioned my sanity after I told him last month that I was training for a marathon. You see, growing up, running was really the only sport I could participate in. With sight in only one eye I couldn’t afford an accident to happen. Because of this, contact sports were out of the question. I loved being active but safety was more important. How would my parents ever live with themselves if they let me play volleyball or soccer and something horrible happened? They had already been tested when I was a baby and it was thought that I could have cancer in both of my eyes (luckily, that wasn’t the case).

I mention all this not to have people feel sorry for me. I’ve never wanted that. Instead, I want to show you that anything is possible despite the hand you are dealt. Sure, I’ve had kids (and adults) say horrible things to me and I just want to say thank you. You’ve made me stronger than I ever thought I’d be.

I am running this marathon because once I set my mind to something I don’t give up. I persevere and I push on. Am I fast? No. Am I slow? Not necessarily. Do I have a ton of heart? YES.

I am running this marathon because no one ever told me I couldn’t.

It’s taken 32 years to finally be comfortable with who I am and no longer be ashamed or embarrassed about being blind in one eye. It’s also taken training for a marathon to help me realize that being partially blind isn’t a barrier. It’s a gift. This is me.

So to conclude, this marathon has multiple meanings. It means that I have completely given my all to something I never thought I’d accomplish. It means that I will finally be able to witness the fruits of my labor, my strength, and my perseverance at the finish line. And, most of all, it means that while I may be partially blind, my purpose is clear.

A friend posted this on Facebook the other day and I found it to be
so inspiring and appropriate for this week.

What kinds of obstacles have you overcome? If you’ve run a marathon, how can you sum up the emotion of that week, that day? Are you running RnR NOLA? If you are, please introduce yourself!

7 thoughts on “Blind and on the Run: My First Marathon

  1. Thanks for such a beautiful post. Standing at the starting line of a marathon is such an inspiring place for me to be. Every person lining up has so much heart – that courage to try. I swear it's palpable. I hope you feel it to and know you are among good company. I wish you an amazing race as you run for YOU!!! Way to go!

  2. Amazing post! My emotions typically get me as I'm in the pack waiting to start. The last few marathons I've done I actually tear up. It's hard to describe but you'll have your own set of feelings and experiences very soon! I hope you have an amazing race, girl!!!

  3. What an awesome post! My obstacle? Actually starting. Running has never come easy…and it still doesn't. Yet I keep getting myself out there. You're going to rock this marathon. Can't wait to hear your recap!

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