I read a short article recently in Sports Illustrated about a young girl named Charlotte Brown who became the first-known legally blind athlete to compete at the state track and field meet in Texas. (She's from Emory, TX.)
I sat dumbfounded while reading this article about her achievement in mid May when she cleared 11' 0" in the pole vault event to finish 4th at the meet. Have you ever tried to pole vault? It takes an IMMENSE amount of strength, confidence, athleticism, and GUTS. I mean c'mon...you run with a heavy pole extended in your arms down a runway, plant the pole in the PERFECT spot at the perfect time, then lean back and let the energy thrust you UP and over a bar that's up higher than what most of us would want to dive off at our country swimming hole. Charlotte can't see the box where the pole gets planted, she can't see the bar, or the landing pit. But by counting her steps and using a high-frequency beeping device that alerts her when she's near the box, she makes a literal leap of faith.
Her personal best was 6 inches taller than what she cleared at the TX state meet in May but of course, that's not the story here. The story is her guts, courage and faith. She comments, "I think our fears are illusions, they're not really real. We just think they are."
LOVE LOVE LOVE this girl.
I have carried a torn page from SI on this story in my wallet for a month since I read it and still haven't found the courage to try something similar...perhaps the situation will present itself, however, and I'll think of Charlotte and use her energy to empower me. You too, I hope.