There are so many ways to enjoy time outside. This is one of many unique stories we’re sharing as part of our effort to highlight the Limitless Sides to Outside.
I’m a DeafBlind woman who moved to Seattle from Toronto in 2003. Growing up, I went to the school for the Deaf in Ontario and participated in team sports. I started losing my peripheral vision as a teenager. As time passed, I’ve lost more of my vision so now my vision is like looking through a straw. I decided to transition from team sports to running because my vision changed.
I’ve been running for many years now. I run on a treadmill and sometimes run outside. When I run outside, I wear a top that says, “DeafBlind runner,” to alert bikers and others that I’m unable to hear and probably won’t see them. I prefer to run outside because it gives me the opportunity to see trees, plants, squirrels, the sky and feel connected to the universe. That connection gives me a feeling of peace. As a child, my family went camping often. We had a small boat, and it was on lakes that I learned to love being on the water and enjoy the natural world.
I’m also a walker and nearly every day take our dog Phoebe for a walk. For a few years now, I’ve been learning to garden. After two years, we will finally harvest asparagus! I like to grow tomatoes, too.
Working in an office, I like to take breaks. It’s important to take a time to reconnect with the natural world. When I return, I feel refreshed and ready to focus on my work. Also, I want to see as much as I can, and take advantage of the vision that I still have, before I become fully blind.
I also like to go hiking and use hiking poles. Sometimes it’s challenging because I don’t have good balance. Hiking is fun because sometimes there are animals to see and because it’s another way to get some exercise and appreciate the beauty of our world.