The following entry was written by Serena Olsen, a member of Team LightHouse who has also served as an agency volunteer. Serena works for the Japan Society and as a Braille instructor at the Lions Center for the Blind.
Challenge yourself to run, jog or walk the San Francisco half marathon. Raise funds for the LightHouse and get into fabulous shape. Hurry, registration ends November 20!
There were absolutely no sports in my household when I was growing up. Both my parents usually had their noses buried in a sci-fi novel, my dad crocheted lacy doilies and tablecloths, and the one and only time my dad actually tried roller-skating instead of just watching me, he nervously clutched the edge of the rink all the way around and ended up breaking his wrist. Is it any wonder that I was always the last one picked for sports teams all the way through school and never actually ran the mile, but just walked instead?
As a young adult, my love for all things Asian led me to dabble in a wide array of martial arts, but I never really went far with them. Even today, the most athletic I usually get is indulging in my yoga addiction. During those young adult years, I was also coming to terms with my blindness — a slow but fruitful journey that has led to acceptance and comfort with my blindness and resources and training in the tools that make me a more competent, confident and accomplished professional. I always travel with a cane; I know, use and teach Braille; and I have a fully stocked toolbox of goodies that make my blindness more of a nuisance than a setback — screen readers, a notetaker, portable media devices, magnification tools, and my newest and most favorite, my iPhone!
Clearly, there is no excuse for me to be the last one picked anymore! In fact, I was one of the first picked by LightHouse staffer Lisamaria Martinez to participate in Team LightHouse. The training, not to mention the fundraising, can feel daunting at times, but I am fired up to successfully achieve yet another new accomplishment and am motivated by the support of people like Lisamaria and the droves of quality people whom I have come to know in the years since I started hanging out with competent blind individuals. Raising funds and awareness in the half marathon for a great agency like the LightHouse is not just a win for me; it is one way that I can give back to the blind community, especially those in the Bay Area.