I’ve done it, now what? My life started to become a routine: go to work, exercises do this, do that, all déjà vu and let’s just say uneventful. I was in for a new thing, curious to throw myself into something new. Maybe I should climb a new peak, or go on a trek somewhere new; maybe I should learn a new skill…
At the Inside Optics, our annual professional event, I came across this group that seemed different from the rest of the exhibitors. They were not promoting products or services but inviting people to participate in a charity bike ride. One of the attendants of this group explained to me that the 140 km ride is to support research in eye disease, and it is easy to do… he was tall athletic, fit, young, pleasant and soft spoken. It never occurred to me that he was in fact the victim of an unforgiving eye disease, retinitis pigmentosa and he could not see…Despite all my ability to distinguish the behavior of a sight challenged person, working with all levels of visual impairment, I did not sense his disability. He behaved like everybody else, with confidence and surprisingly kept his eye contact with me at all times. I was impressed.
Every day at work I educate patients about eyewear, eye function and eye disease. I see how sometimes I find myself without resources to address some of the cases. I understand, more than most, what it is like to live a life being dependent on little aid from eyewear or low visual devices. It is my time to give back to my profession. There is little known about eye health, limited amount of research in chronic eye disease, yet it is our most precious sense.
140 kilometers bike ride. This is it; I am going to do it.
And what a journey this was. I came across so many challenging situations, the training was grueling, but the people around were supportive and friendly. I was often called the “trouper”. When I passed the hundred kilometers point, I knew I could do it. The ride itself was such an
accomplishment. My family and many friends supported me. I felt great and strong. I supported a great cause. Road biking became my new sport and like anything in life results are based on loads of work, determination and mindset. So I’ve done it, now what?
I am writing this to my fellow opticians to join me in the 2013 Cycle for Sight www.cycleforsight.ca . More than ever it is time now to show and advocate for our profession. Let’s make people aware that we count immensely in providing eye health care and eye health education. Join me in supporting a great cause and promoting our profession.
Please leave me a note at: firstname.lastname@example.org