My Blog: Follow me during this journey

September 25, 2017

Pivot means to change direction. I hear this word all the time in the work place but now it is definitely applying to my personal life. 

I have been training for the Trailfest Cirle marathon in Utah coming up in the next couple of days for months. This trail is the distance of a half marathon at least 13 miles. 

My goal was to run a portion of it with my guide dog Roxy and the reminder with a sighted guide runner. My sun sign is the Lion, the Leo. I always dream and think big but most importantly I hate leaving things undone; I strive to live up to my promises and want to cross things off my to do list.

I learned so much in this process. I learned that running with my guide dog is not like walking with Roxy, obviously but I had to transverse a thin line of her remembering how to act in harness and train her to act differently when out of harness, running but still working. That was a very difficult process and I did not want to push Roxy and I want to go by her pace. So with that said, it...

July 11, 2017

A new month already started and I wanted to share how my running adventure is going so far. My half marathon I feel is creeping up on me and I do not have as much time as I thought to get prepared. With weather permitting, I try to run/walk my normal trail that is 4 miles. I still feel like I fatigue too fast, that I am still walking too much and I am not increasing the length I am running. My goal was to be running four miles already and adding to it. 

To not feel totally defeated.....

I had to step back and give myself credit of what I have accomplished so far before the "you can't" monster got me. I am not only learning how to run again since I have not done so since my early 30's but I am also learning the sensation of different types of terrain. It has taken me longer to translate and understand, concrete vs sidewalk vs gravel vs grass vs uneven terrain. With all the different surfaces, I had to learn the concept of not committing my step just in case it was not level in order to pr...

June 22, 2017

I tripped on your fear and hurt my feet but walked forward. It hurts but only for a moment. That fear you hold on to is yours to bear not mine. See how far ahead of you I am? You are still stuck in that small valley and I already tripped on it, stepped over it and forgotten about it. Nothing will deter me from my path. Call it foolish if you want; I understand that your fear is not the only valley I will trip over but I least I am courageous enough to keep trying. In the great words of Helen Keller, "Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold."

June 16, 2017

Visual impairment is not just total blindness. When people hear "I am blind" that assume that I see in complete darkness. The type of retina degenerative disease I have mocks me by mimicking AMD but I do have some light and color perception. The picture starting from left to eye kind of shows what I am going through. The far left is when it first started, the middle picture is progressing to more moderate vision loss and the third is what I experience today. My peripheral vision I have left is very blurry and I have weak depth perception.

But I am happy to have what I have. The most recent doctor's visit a few days ago, gave me great news. I am stable at this point. I can live with that.

So, I use many tools to help me navigate; my white cane, my guide dog and now with running simply as holding hands with a sighted guide until I can fully run with a tandem rope that has been donated to me and my sighted guide by Richard Hunter a famous blind marathon runner in his own right.

I am using th...

May 1, 2017

This idea of running a half marathon with a purpose came from a Facebook post of course, lol. A friend of mine that I work with posted about a Trailfest marathon in Utah and listening to the details I said to myself. Why the heck not!!! But it started before that.....I met a gentleman that fast became a friend and mentor who deems himself as an "blind deaf adventurer". His name is Bill Barkeley and he has done so many amazing things to prove a person with disabilities can do ANYTHING. So he planted that seed of adventure in me. My friend's Facebook post was the avenue I decided to turn that wanderlust into action.

First, I hate the word disabled, someone told me that we are people that have the ability and creativity to do things a different way with the same goal. I like that, I am not disabled but a "abled creative". A able creative is a person that may have some physical or cognitive challenges to complete something but has the support and determination to figure out how to accomplis...

April 6, 2017

My half marathon is only 6 months away. The running festival Grand Circle Trailfest is in Kanab, UT. It seems like a fantasy land right now to me. I have not ran a marathon ever in my life.....why now? That is not an easy question to answer. I guess the main motivation for me to do this; is to get out of my own way.

I live in my head constantly. A million racing thoughts, a million scenarios of what could happen, a million unescapable situations. I want to prove to myself, that I can find peace, calm, serenity and erase my mind of being in a constant rat race, at least for a moment. 

The first thing I had to do, is commit myself to an adventure. Once the commitment was made, I had no choice but to follow through. That was the easy part; the concept of running was still somewhat abstract to me. I listened to a post on Facebook from a friend about this race, I researched it, I reached out to the the committee of that marathon to get permission to have my guide dog there, I registered for t...

March 31, 2017

About Pilot Dogs: And My First Two weeks

Pilot Dogs was right in my backyard in Franklinton and I had no idea. They have been open since the 1950’s assisting people with visually impairment and blindness to obtain, become certified with a guide dog. They have a day kennel next door and a later kennel located elsewhere in Columbus for the time being. They are working to being that larger kennel on their campus with a price tag of around 8.2 million dollars. I pray they get every dime and can build that dream. This organization is truly nonprofit. Every dime of donations goes in to their programs and running the business. Students come from all around the nation and even from different countries. If you live more than 200 miles away nationwide they will pay from your transportation to and from the facility!!!!! If you are overseas, you have to get stateside, but once you do they again will pay for your transportation to and from the facility. Last year they had about 13-14 classes that in...

February 5, 2017

I am trying to keep up but the problem is that I am not as quick and fast as I used to be. This past week, I really miss my vision. I have been struggling trying to go through vocational rehab to relearn everything for life skills, learning braille, learning how to use technology in a new way. I am not sure of the statistics but the most commonly known; there is a 75 percent unemployment rate of individuals that have a visual impairment. I could not find any statistics (not saying that it is not in the inter-webs, I just have not been successful in finding it) of people that become legally blind or blind while they were employed; and those that successfully complete vocational rehab while also working at the same time. Whatever the percentage is, I am part of that group in the US. And it is HARD!!!!!! I feel like I do not have time to fully comprehend what I am doing and I am feeling the anxiety and pressure of "performing" these new shiny learned tasks are getting worse. This is more...

January 9, 2017

It has been a long hiatus from my blog and I have all the excuses in the world. But that is the nice thing when it is personal, there will be an ebb and flow to the journaling process. This is a portion of my life that I want to document to look back on. It is after the new years of course (look at the date) and I just feel in my gut 2017 is going to be epic in a good way. I always believe in my gut, I always believe when my "spidey" senses are tingling. You can call it my third eye or whatever you believe but it has not led me wrongly yet. So going back in time, New Years Eve. If that night is any indication on how my year is going to be....then I am just buckling up and ready for the ride. We went to ShadowBox live and to echo what my husband said, it was the best new years celebration we have experienced since being a couple. So much happened in 2016, struggles, victories, sadness, joy. But that was then and this is now. I really do not want to outline what happened. It feels weird...

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    @2017 Roxy's Guitig Paws

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