I had written a post about training in the snow and was all set to add the final part to the three day recap when life threw me a curve and I was instantly humbled.
After my mediocre swim last night, I huffed and puffed as I packed up and over heard two guys talking about the weather. That doesn’t sound abnormal so at first I didn’t pay much attention but then I realized something was different:
Q: Mike, how are you dealing with this weather?
Mike: You know, it sucks….its freezing, less people on the streets, my kids had to go to school. The ice is terrible, I just feel like I cannot get on solid ground.
Q: I know what you mean, did you ever consider getting a dog?
Mike: No way! I could never be dependent on something for so much. It would be excellent company but honestly in a busy city like ours, I feel very comfortable and whenever I need help I just yell out for it, and usually someone helps me.
Q: Really? No one would help me! Does anyone ever tease you or help you in a less than honest way.
Mike: Sometimes, most people though are good when it comes down to it. I do find that people often mess up my change and then are stunned when I call them out on it.
Mike: yeah, coins and things like that.
Q: So your kids or wife count the change?
Mike: The bills yes, but the coins I can tell by their size and the sides of them, each one is different.
Q: So its all feel for you, is that how you manage to swim in the pool?
Mike: Hahahaha sort of, the tiles in the pool are my road markers. I can feel them with the tips of my fingers or even just how the water bounces off the wall when I swim by.
Q: Yeah I was always curious how that worked but didn’t want to ask. In the snow how do you manage?
Mike: Well its really difficult the corners are nearly impossible, I have to get someone to help me across the street because the puddles and snow banks cover my usual indicators. I know how many steps to the corners from my building but once there it is a crap shoot, with the snow and ice I have no idea when it ends, starts, or is totally iced over.
Q: so you cannot see anything?
Mike: I can see only out of the left corner of my eye, and that vision is pretty miserable, I wouldn’t rely on it for anything other than to tell me if the room was bright, or it was sunny outside.
Q; Well, I am all set are you ready to swim?
Mike: sure, can you hand me my stick? Thanks…let’s go! It’s always great to get in the water and swim. What’s the workout?
That was it, they left and headed to the pool deck. I was left with my thoughts, I probably worry too much about things outside of my control and this guy was more in-control when the rest of us would be freaking out. By now you have figured Mike is a blind athlete, father, and normal guy. Their conversation put all my worries, stress, and problems in perspective. I stopped my huffing and walked home, happy to have over heard their conversation. If I see Mike in the pool, I will try to say hi and introduce myself. He inspired me, never realizing it, never asking for help. I was humbled.