My weekend wasn’t nearly as exciting as last weekend, but I was busy. On Saturday I gave my very first guitar lesson. While I’ve been playing guitar for many moons – the thought of putting the exact number of years made me cringe – I’ve never taught. But early last week a lady contacted me to see if I could give her daughter beginner lessons.
The girl is ten, and really just beginning, and working with her brought back the memories of trying to get fingers in the right place on the right fret to actually make a chord. When the notes finally ring true, it is a smiley moment. We had several, and it was great fun to see her delight at getting it right.
WHAT I’M READING – The Man Who Loved Too Much: Book 1: Archipelago by John Rachel for review later this month. Quite a fun, interesting read so far.
CELEBRATING STRONG WOMEN – Today I want to feature a young East Texas woman, Charlotte Brown, one of the fastest runners and pole vaulters in Texas. She is a senior at Rains High School in Emory, Texas (about 65 miles east of Dallas), and is set to compete in the State Track and Field Championships in May. Last year she placed fourth in the state 3A track championship, and this year hopes to take the top honors.
And she is blind.
Let me say that again. This amazing young woman is blind, yet she is a star on the track.
So how does she do it? When she’s running, she uses the inside lane where her coaches place beepers that she listens for to keep her in the right place. For the relay races she runs, she knows when to hand off the baton by recognizing the sound of her teammate’s footsteps.
Unless one is forced to listen, I don’t think we ever pay attention to the sound of running feet, but apparently each runner has a distinctive step.
When I first heard about Charlotte, I thought it was incredibly amazing that she ran track and did so well. Then I found out about the pole vaulting.
Pole vaulting and she can’t see where the heck the bar is?
Here, again, she uses a beeper placed at the spot where she is to place the pole, and she counts her steps from the start to know where to plant the pole.
Charlotte has had vision problems since she was in the sixth grade, and her vision has deteriorated significantly since then. Now she can only distinguish light and dark. She has a service dog, Vador, who assists her off the field, but for obvious reasons, he is not allowed on the track.
As the many interviews she has done in print and television illustrate, Charlotte has a positive, humorous outlook on life and her blindness. I laughed out loud at this quote that was in an article by Andy Johns. “I think the only thing scarier than a blind person pole-vaulting is a blind person throwing a javelin,” she said. “I don’t think we’d have much of a crowd for that.”
She is truly an inspiration to anyone with any kind of physical challenge that they might find limiting. The key is not to look at the limitations, but to look at the possibilities. That is the message that she puts forth whenever she speaks or is interviewed. So I salute Charlotte Brown. Good for you!!
Please leave a comment and share if you know anyone who has gone for the possibilities in a similar manner.