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Accessible Fitness, more choices for more people

Fitness has always been a concern with regard to both mental and physical health regardless of age, gender, or any other variables that make each one of us unique. And for those in the blind community, fitness is every bit as much—if not more—important.

Exercise for the visually impaired is something that should be incorporated into a weekly, if not daily, routine for a variety of reasons that are both similar and different from people within the sighted community. For those with total loss of sight as well as for those who are low sighted, a lack of regular exercise can bring on a host of other issues, including weight gain, sluggishness, and perhaps worst of all for many, insomnia or a circadian rhythm that has been thrown completely off track.

A quality workout done at the right time of day and at the right pace to meet your unique physical and mental needs is just what the doctor may have forgotten to order. For many blind people, fitness has been a challenge: without someone to guide you and without the ability to drive yourself to the gym, it becomes obvious why so many visually impaired individuals give up—but with the BlindAlive line of Fitness Workouts for blind people, you’ll never have to depend on anyone else again.

Yoga and Strength Training with wieghts for blind people along with a variety of other cardiovascular exercises help our bodies stay toned, help us gain muscle mass and lose weight, but most of all, can help lead a blind person away from a sense of helplessness.

Are you ready to sweat? Come get healthy and leave all your notions of not being able to get fit due to your visual impairment behind with BlindAlive!

Accessing Innocence

This morning, while contemplating the phrase, “I am innocent.” I began to feel that familiar hard knot of anxiety in my solar plexus. I sat with the feeling to let it clarify itself. It began to claw its way up to the surface of my consciousness. I knew I needed to pay attention this time, no more locking those old feelings in a concrete vault in my gut.

Fear was looming large today because I am being invited to do things that are super scary for me. I know I want to do the scary things, and in order for me to do them, I must work through the fears. I have learned that if I work my way backwards in time that I can locate the first time I felt so afraid. I ask myself, “When was the last time I remember feeling this way?” I discovered that it was when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I decided not to stop there because I knew there was something way back that needed a closer examination. I went back and back. It was not an easy trip, but I wanted to free myself, so I allowed time to dig in deep.

I landed on a day in June, 1970 right after my mother had spent a month in the hospital with a heart condition. I suspect her heart was broken because of what she new was going to be hard news for me. I realize this may be a rather egocentric way of interpreting the events, but it makes sense to me. I can imagine that if I had to tell my child that she had to leave her friends and that she was losing her sight, that I might have a heart problem too.

My Mom said to me, “Come into the den. I need to talk to you.” She was in a pink nightgown because she was still recovering from her hospital stay. I don’t remember anyone else being in the room but there may have been. I do not remember the exact words but she essentially said, “You are going to live with your sister to go to school so you can learn braille and typing.” I was eleven years old. I could not comprehend what she had just said to me so I made her repeat it. I jumped out of the chair where I was sitting and flew down the hall to my room. My sister met me there and I fell into her arms. I remember crying so hard and saying, “I don’t want to be blind.” I said it over and over. She held me and we cried. I think there was a whole lot of crying that went on that day, but I was interested in only my tears.

That summer I cried and cried and cried some more. I think looking back that I subconsciously began to realize that my tears were hurting the people I loved the most. I stopped crying. That was the summer I learned to turn my fear inward. I remember shivering from fear, not cold. I remember wetting the bed a few times. My mother took me to the doctor. I think it was because I was crying so much. He gave me some little blue pills. I assume it was Valium or some other tranquilizing drug. I knew then I needed to become silent, and so I did.

What does this story have to do with the phrase, “I am innocent”? It is because, I was an innocent child. I was not developmentally able to understand that it was not my fault. All I knew was that my tears made people hurt and I did not want to do that. I knew I was getting the pill so I would stop crying.

Why am I concentrating on this so much today? It is because those unshed, unwanted tears and fears live on and on in a body. They turn into concrete. They create disease and paralyzing fear. I don’t want that! I want that innocent child to fly exactly where she wants to go. I refuse to be paralyzed by fear. I have places I want to go and a thousand things I want to do. I know that if I touch the fear, I  . can make it dissolve. Under the fear is that beautiful, innocent child. She has done nothing wrong and she certainly deserves to fly. I know that accessing my innocence is the way for me to clear away the concrete and to make room for strength and courage to get where I want to go.

 

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