Sports and Recreation
Some of my earliest memories in dealing with my vision loss revolved around sports. As a child with severe vision impairment, I remember wanting to compete. Athletics helped shape who I am as an adult. I believe in the abilities of people who are blind. Competition was a major contributing factor to my ability to believe in myself. From walking into a wrestling tryout to winning a major championship, it was all an amazing ride.
I believe that through my ability to compete I helped open the eyes of a lot of people. I remember my first wrestling tryout like it was yesterday. A couple of kids were sitting around the mat. I heard one comment "It's not fair, he's blind.". It's comments like that that help boost viewership in movies where the underdog has to prove himself. As an adult, I don't see the comment made by a young teenager as offensive. He simply did not know. My performance in the match was like a shot of adrenaline. I remember the score being 8-0. At a point during the match my opponent was so winded that he lay flat on his stomach and refused to get up. Instant confidence for me.
I remember attempting to play many different sports. These sports, of course, had to be adapted in some way so that I had access. Running the 400 with a human guide, the sound of the bells in a goal ball and making contact with my opponent on the wrestling matt were adaptations that allowed me to build confidence and self-esteem.
This part of the site is designed to provide people living with vision loss, their families and vision rehabilitation professionals information on options available to people who are blind or visually impaired. We encourage you to use these links and make contact with the different organizations that support our community. We strongly believe that getting out and being active has a direct impact on orientation and mobility, healthy living, confidence and self-esteem.