Why did it start:
“If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.” Kathrine Switzer
I always admired marathoners, but I didn’t think of myself as one of them until very recently. It was actually a complex and interesting process.
RP (retinitis pigmentosa)is slow and insidious. It’s an eye disease that causes severe vision impairment due to the degeneration of the rod photoreceptor cells in the retina.
For the longest time I preferred having people think of me as “this weird guy”, than as a person visually impaired. I was in deep denial, I didn’t want to face what was going to happen. I would never ask for help, I would rarely enjoy myself.
When I lost my sight, a few years ago, I quickly realized that I had a choice. I could either stay at home, in the dark, in the comfort of my loneliness, or I could go out and do something that always inspired me. What was sort of paradoxical is that every day my vision would get a little worse, and every day, I felt a little more free. I had decided to run.
I remember my first day with Achilles, I was scared. I was with all of these strangers, they were all different, a powerful part of me didn’t want to be there, didn’t want to accept that I could belong there. But deep-down I knew that I was doing the right thing, I started to understand. I met a few inspiring people right away, a few great guides as well, and we went for five miles in Central Park. It was a liberation.
Every year I watch the New York City Marathon, it’s the most inspiring moment of the year in the City. I cheer for these people because they have the right state of mind, they tell me that anything is possible. I could still be inside, in the comfort of my loneliness, but I am free, and soon I will be one of them.
None of this would be possible without my guides of course, but it goes far beyond that. We are fortunate to live in a society that admires people that overcome challenges, and there is a huge team around me that I will never be able to thank enough. This blog is for all of them, this marathon will be their victory.
I met you at the Lido Beach Triathlon last year and have been following you since then. Thanks for painting a colorful picture of what training for a marathon is for you. I am enjoying it.