Have you ever had eye problems? My dad is blind without his glasses. With his glasses he can see well enough to have a 'normal' sighted life. I'd say he is pretty lucky. I used to have debates with people about which sense I would be most willing to give up. I feel like I have mostly swayed on the side of willing to give up my eye sight prior to my hearing. Not sure how I feel about this today.
This weekend, while having lunch with my mom, I noticed a table of individuals sitting across the restaurant who all appeared to be deaf. I was then intrigued with the idea that perhaps not being able to hear would be better. I mean, with the loss of hearing, you can still carry on conversations with your friends who know sign language.
All of this has made me think more in depth about Helen Keller. What an experience she must have had; no sight or hearing. She never had the option of the hypothetical/philosophical debate that I have so often dragged people through.
Thank god this has all been primarily hypothetical for me...
Now, the interesting thing is that several years ago I had no idea what it really meant to be an athlete, except for the fact that I wanted to be one. I have had several conversations with folks debating the definition of 'athlete', and I can tell you, we all have very different ideas of what it truly embodies to be an athlete. I am not proud of the fact that I have ridden the sidelines for the last several months of my athleticism, but sometimes it is necessary to simply take a rest. Your body needs to recover and the only way to allow for such recovery is to relax a little bit.
By no means does my sideline riding this season mean that I will not be found on the course again in the future. It simply means that I had to give that 'sense' a break, and you know what? Other senses had the opportunity to develop.
Now to relate this back to hearing and vision I have to say that, I have seen the finer (or not so) points of being physically active and not. When I am physically active, I am happier and more content. That is not to diminish the time I spend with people when I'm not physically active because that time is extremely valuable to me too, I actually think it is even better though because I am more physically able to walk around Amish country for hours, or go shopping, or zipline, or go to a play (although theater is NOT my thing).
Anyway, this whole discussion is meant to promote athleticism. Luckily I do not have to choose between my eyes or my ears, and I truly hope that I never do. I will say that when faced with a choice between athlete and non-athlete, I will always choose athlete and the beauty is I have the choice. Other people do not have the choice!!! I am meeting more and more people daily who don't get to decide whether they want to run that half marathon or not, or that marathon or not. It is time for me to take advantage of every opportunity because some day we may not have that choice...
On top of all of this? I have said so many times on this blog, my athleticism has given me my best friend, my confidence, my ability to deal with adverse situations. Fear not, I will again be on the marathon course and the half iron man course, but for this very moment in time, I am going to enjoy cheering along every one of the folks I know as their journeys are teaching me so much about how I will approach my future goals. I'm also going to cheer along all of the people I have met recently who can not do what I do, and I'm going to do it for them.
And if your lucky to have the ability to see and hear, I am going to ask you to do one thing today... Turn up your radio so the car next to you can hear you at the stop light. Let them see you singing along (they might laugh)... Laugh, enjoy the person who is calling/texting/emailing/facebooking you today. Also, look at the stars, enjoy the sunrise/set, look at the leaves on your trees. Even better yet, look someone in the eyes and say hello.
Finally, join me in the gift many of us have, move your legs, charge on, walk a 5k. If you need a good cause to move for? Let me know, I'm sure I can scrounge something up fairly quickly for you.