Sep 19

XC team

Back when I was a kid in high school we had a “CC” team that ran through the cornfields of Northwest Ohio.  It wasn’t a large team, but it brought with it a great sense of belonging and diversity.  I always thought that the “CC” stood for Cross County.  For some reason, in the past few years there have been quite of few “XC” teams popping up.  What’s that all about?

One of them is the Hilliard Darby XC.  They’re running the streets of Central Ohio, since there’s not much farm ground left where I live.  However, much like Elmwood (my alma mater) there is even greater sense of belonging and more diversity.

It’s a great team with a great coaching staff.  They have a “growth mindset” and team motto of LEAP.  It stands for Love Energy Audacity and Proof.  The investment that they make into these kids is incredible.

I spoke with them about “self-limiting beliefs” and how you can overcome them.  It’s an important part of the process as we go from Blind to Sight to Vision.  It’s something that we all should go through.  Once you do, your “eyes will be open” (pun intended) to much more.  Since I’ve lost part of my sight, my vision is better than it’s ever been.

I had been thinking that the “X” probably represented a cross or maybe even a place holder for whatever running you’d like to do.  Whether it’s cross country or short country or no country J.

Maybe it has do with the diversity that the sport allows for, since almost anyone can run.  We don’t have tryouts and anyone can be on the team.  It doesn’t matter if your 5K time is sub 16 minutes or 25 minutes plus.

Maybe this is it.

When “who” you are matters more than “what” you are, X.

Mike drop.


Thanks for allowing me to talk with you.  God is good.

Sep 11

I Hate Driving

There.  I said it.  One of the things that I used to love is gone.

Just keepin in real.

I bought a car in February of 2011 that had 5,000 miles on it.  On March 3rd, less than a month later, I was blinded by one of two Cavernous Malformations in my brain stem.  From that point, until mid-October of that same year, Connie drove my new car to get me where I needed to be.  If it weren’t for her, I don’t think that I’d be here.

The other part of that combination, the car, has also been instrumental.  It’s allowed us to travel an additional 134,000 miles.  When I recently told my friend Pete how many miles were on my car he was amazed.  “Wow, you drove that many miles with just one eye! ”  Not, “hey that’s been a good car or gee that Ford is a keeper.”  He brought it back to the person behind the wheel for all of those miles.  Then, of course, I do most everything with just one eye.

I dreaded those days from March to November, when I had to ask one of my friends or coworkers for a ride.  I hated it.  Why did that bother me so much?  Normally, it wouldn’t matter much at all.  They probably didn’t think anything of it, so why did I?  I don’t know.  As I dig into more understanding and try to relate to people that are struggling, I find myself asking more questions.

From this point forward, one question that I will try to answer with an affirmative “YES!” is if someone asks me, “can I drive?”  It sucks driving at night.  It sucks having my head on a swivel to make my huge blind-spots smaller.  It sucks pulling up to a drive-thru window or toll-booth.  It sucks knocking my mirrors off on the side of the garage.

Fortunately “Charles”, my 2011 Taurus, has kept me safer with blind-spot detection, automated cruise control adjustment and collision detection.   Still, with all of those miles, it’s about time for the next model. Hopefully, the next one will be even safer and maybe drive for me.  🙂

No matter how bad my day starts or ends, I still drive.  I still do things that are uncomfortable. I still push forward. Doing things that I may not want to do allows me to experience the things that I love.  Tomorrow is another day.  The sun will rise in the east and set in the west.

Are there things in your life that technology has changed for the better?  Are there other things that you wish for?

Sep 05

What’s It Like to See Double?

This is a tough subject for me to write about.  No-one can really imagine what I see, but I’d like to give you an idea.  The idea is that you’ll have an appreciation.  Maybe someday this will help somebody.

I often remind people that I only have one eye.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I actually have two eyes. One that I use and another that I keep under covers.  Not intentionally, my right eye lid refuses to work.

These issues stem (pun intended :-)) from the Cavernous Malformations in my brain that bled in 2011. For those of you new to my blog, you can get the full story here.

You may have experienced double vision.  If you have, I’m sorry to hear that.  It’s definitely one of the most difficult things that I’ve had to deal with.  I’m sure that most people have forgotten or maybe think that I’m adapting well to having just one eye.  Is that what you think?

I can tell you that it’s not quite that simple.  My vision actually changes minute-to-minute…literally.  How can that be?!?  I wish it weren’t, but I can honestly say that I have very dynamic vision.

When my right eye is fully closed and my left eye has had a chance to wake up, my vision is good. Monocular, but still good.

When my right eye pops open there is a lot more light in my world, which is great.  What’s not so great is that my eyes still don’t go together, so I have double vision.  That can change too.  Depending on the situation, my images can be in any number places.  It’s not nearly as simple as the attached picture.  For example, when I shave, my right eye goes asleep…kind of.  It’s hard to describe, but when that eye falls asleep it falls in toward my nose.  However, I can still see out of it.

How do I determine which image to look at?  Well, I don’t always pick the right one, but it’s usually the one with a crisper image.  It’s a very non-perfect 3-dimensional world.  That’s because having 2 good eyes allows you to see depth, as well as width and length of objects.

When I’m monocular, I can only see in 2 dimensions.  That means, if you toss me something chances are that I will not catch it.  I’ll probably just look at you or duck out of the way.

In case you’re wondering, in October of 2011, Dan Cox at The Ohio State University Driving Rehabilitation Program approved me to drive again.

There’s 3 things to take from this post about me:

  1. If you can see my right eye, it’s probably not a good day for me.  My balance may be off, which is really not uncommon.
  2. Don’t throw me anything that I wouldn’t mind if it hit me.  🙂
  3. It’s usually a safe bet, if you can’t see my left eye, you can assume that I don’t see you

I’m sure that’s more than you ever thought that you wanted to know.

There’s a few things to take from this post about you.

  1. In the end, the moral of this story is that you just have to keep going.
  2. Keep pushing through barriers.
  3. Keep trying new things.
  4. When people tell you that you can’t do something, acknowledge them and then prove them wrong.