Into the Dark (Goalball / Night Races) – 1/17/19

USABA Blackout goggles and knee/elbow pads

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” – The Shawshank Redemption

For a very long time, I’ve struggled in the dark and at night because of my vision. So to most of you, it may seen counterintuitive to be doing races and sports where my vision is ‘taken away’. But there is a method to my madness… at least this time.

With the vision changes that I’ve noticed in the last 12 months, I strongly believe that the next radical change will happen at some point within the next 5 years. I wish I had a crystal ball so that I could tell you when and what it would be, but I don’t. And since I don’t, I’ve got two main choices — do everything that I can with that vision during the next 5 years as well as proactively prepare for the future OR go hide in a cave.

Spoiler alert; I’ve chosen the former. To that end, one of the sports that I’m trying to get more involved in is Goalball. For those of you whom have never seen it, go to YouTube and watch a few videos. But as a very small thumbnail, it’s played by teams of 3 (center and 2 wings) with a ball that has a bell in it. Everyone has on blackout goggles and pads, and is on the ground. It’s a tremendous amount of fun, and even more so when you keep the proper form (so the Goalball doesn’t hit you in the nose). Saturday will be the second prectice of the season, and we’ll see how things continue to go.

But Goalball isn’t the only ‘dark’ sport that I will be doing in 2019. Over the last two years, I’ve done the Chicago Glo Run in the dark. If all the timing works, I plan to be doing a minimum of 3 night races. These are ones where I have to put total faith and trust in my guides since I’ll be able to see very little outside of the ‘glow zones’. Two of them will be races similar to the Color Run, so I know going in that I need to have ‘throwaway clothes’ for them.

You may be asking ‘so why the radical change to doing all of this dark stuff now?’ The simple answer is to tell my vision to go screw itself. As I said to several thoughout 2018, I refuse to be a prisoner of the dark. And this part of my 2019 schedule just further proves that.

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