I just got back from taking Dug for a long walk along Lake Washington. We had just turned around for the return trip, when a woman’s voice behind me called out “On your left.” I always keep Dug reined in, but I wound his leash around my left hand a few more times to bring him closer. I glanced over my shoulder and saw a woman on a bike. “Thank you,” she said. “There’s a runner behind me who can’t see your dog.”
Sure enough, a male runner was about six feet behind the cyclist. As they passed, I saw the back of his shirt: Blind and Deaf Runner.
OK, I want you to do something for me, right now. Squeeze your eyes shut, block your ears, and imagine going for a run outside–just like that. Can’t imagine it? Neither could I. I’m about the most nearsighted person you could ever meet, and I have horrible night vision. I thought that was bad enough, but blind running?
I’m not sure how he sensed the bike, but he managed to stay behind it, although his trajectory wasn’t as smooth as a sighted runner’s. He may have been compensating for the unevenness of the path, which while paved, has a lot of dips and bumps (heck, I can see, and I’ve almost tripped along there).
I rarely skip a workout because I don’t “feel like it,” but after witnessing what I saw today, I see clearly how many of our exercise excuses are extremely feeble. How physically active are you? If your answer is, “not much,” I ask you: What’s your excuse? I don’t ask that question in an accusatory way, but in a “you might really want to reflect on your answer” kind of way. I, mean, if people who are deaf and blind can go running, and people who are missing limbs can compete in sports, then the rest of us really have no excuse to not get out there and move.