After I left the LHON Symposium in June, I left with the “I can do ANYTHING” attitude. I started talking about how I LOVED (past tense) to run. I used to love to run but haven’t since I went blind. Why?

I jumped on Facebook, found the Achilles International and some AMAZING connections within the running community. The response I had gave me the goose bumps. These people don’t even know me and they are so willing to help! I found the Achilles International, which is nationally recognized in my area, they provide guide runners to anyone with a disability, allowing us to run again!

I was then connected to the East Valley Runners group and spoke with the president of the club. He sent out an email to his entire group and within HOURS – I had over 20 guide runners willing to help! WOW!! These groups amaze me, and I am so grateful to have found them.

I ran for the first time in years. It was AWESOME!! I learned what it was like to run with a guide runner and what I needed them to call out as we ran along our path. They tell me things like, in 500 feet we are going from concrete to unpaved road … or 1,2,3..step up for a curb. We used a tether – which can come in all shapes and sizes. It is totally up to the running team. Me? I use a hot pink shoe lace with a loop on each end for us to hold onto.

Now, I have been running for about a month. I went from running 4 miles to 12! I run the same paths with the best guide runners! I am so thankful I have met some of the most kind-hearted and patient people. Their cues on trees, cactus, curbs and railroad tracks are spot on!

Recently, I ran my first race! You can’t miss us in Achilles yellow!

I will keep you posted on my progress…. Next on my list? A half marathon!

….turns out Blind Girls Can Rock Running Shoes too!

be my - 2

 

Tags:
Jessica
http://blindgirlscanrockheels.com
At age 27, I went blind from a rare genetic eye disease - Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. I am here to share my stories of how it is to get hit with a disability and how nothing should ever stop you from what you want to do.
  • tammy brooks

    Jessica
    You are amazing!!
    You are quite the inspiration! !
    Come and run in Minnesota.
    A hug to you.

    August 14th, 2014 2:38
    Reply
    01
  • Char Doll

    Wow what an awesome accomplishment! I love reading your blogs – really amazing how you continue to accomplish the things which are important to you. Keep rockin it girl :-).

    August 14th, 2014 10:25
    Reply
    02
  • Graciela

    You rock girl!!!
    Awesome accomplishments!
    Keep it up!
    XXX
    G

    August 14th, 2014 15:11
    Reply
    03
  • Shital

    Congrats!! You are a truly an inspiration to me. Missing you at crossfit. Can’t wait to see you rock a half marathon!! Hope you are doing well.

    Shital

    August 18th, 2014 3:39
    Reply
    04

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