Guiding Blind Athletes - My Connection with Others
I enjoy volunteering my time to assist visually impaired and visually/hearing impaired athletes by acting as a guide in the active pursuits of running, biking, and swimming. One common and pervasive symptom of PTSD is an internal characteristic known as hypervigilance. It is defined through the following description: when a person is hypervigilant, one is constantly looking around, using the senses to scan for signs of potential danger or risk of being harmed. This constant act of scanning, and the resulting thoughts that follow, often contain one’s interpretations of the scanned information. Because the scanning and its interpretations are focused on identifying whether or not one is at risk, or in danger, medical knowledge finds that people who have survived trauma often engage in the act of hypervigilance. Thus, such individuals are prone to perceive and act upon perceptions indicating that risk of harm and danger are currently present.
Often, hypervigilance is viewed as a symptom that is distressful to the trauma survivor, and able to dominate the survivor’s attention, concentration, perception, interpretation, emotional state, and so on. But those who themselves employ hypervigilance, resulting from the illness of PTSD, also recognize some advantages to being hypervigilant.
In my case, my tendency to be hypervigilant is also a trait I use in particular circumstances. For instance, hypervigilance in combination with my high degree of athletic ability, allows and facilitates using my skills to do what others, such as people who are far less aware of the many things happening in their immediate environment, cannot do for this population.
I guide athletes from those who enter as beginners to those who have achieved status at the national level. Once I began working with this category of athletes, I quickly recognized much-needed devices and/or equipment that were inaccessible. One such device, used while guiding the visually impaired athlete in running and swimming, I consequently designed and am having manufactured. Such devices can also maximize the athletes’ and guides’ safety and success. This assisting-equipment is now known as Lending Sight Tethers.Lending Sight Tethers
Through the design and sale of my running and swimming tethers, I hope to make it easier for blind and visually impaired individuals to become more actively involved in athletic events, by enhancing a sense of confidence through using the tethers and guides. It is possible to run and swim after losing your sight.
I have further developed Advanced Tethers, designed to incorporate a bungee-type of effect, and able to provide greater flexibility for those athletes, as they gain more confidence. The tethers on this website are my designs, and are more generally referred to as Running and Swimming Tether designs.