I'm starting to sense a theme in this pursuit of triathlon racing as a blind athlete: you are always trying to improve, you are always finding new "potential." Maybe that is what it's all about. Improvement is the name of the game, but I always equated that with fitness, training goals, finishing races, improving those race times. However, as I'm finding out, that is not the only arena where "potential" is found.
Yesterday I had another chat with yet another potential guide runner. It was a great chat and I think there is a lot of potential here. Our chat was almost two hours long and I think we got a lot accomplished. We established that training and/or racing together is something we both want to do, but I still encouraged her to go home and think about what we had talked about. I also suggested that she try guiding before she makes a decision as well.
Currently, she is battling an ankle injury, but thinks she'll be able to start running again in a few weeks. We are going to keep in touch in the next weeks and once she's at the point where she can actually run, we're going to go for a light jog to teach her how to guide and give her the opportunity to really get an understanding of what is involved. That way, she is making an informed decision when she says yes or no to guiding.
I think the most exciting part for me is that she is not only interested in guiding for running, but she is interested in triathlon as well. She's only ever done one triathlon before, but one is better than none. She had also been training for an ironman this past year, but unfortunately had to withdraw a week and a half before the race due to her ankle injury. Her strongest leg of that type of race is cycling, which is quite beneficial.
The only problem we may run into is accessibility to each other. She lives in a different city than I do and her job is closer, but still quite a ways out. That said, the building she works in comes equipped with a full gym and if I can figure out a way to get to her, we could do running practices on the track there. She said she would be willing to pick me up from the train station, drive me to her work and drop me off at the train station again. If we can just work out the travel details, I think we could have a good thing.
Obviously, we won't be able to train together every day, and perhaps not every week, but if we could get a few practices in a month, especially if we can get our hands on a racing tandem, this could go somewhere. I think the most important thing is that we're both willing to make this work. I'll keep doing workouts in the gym on the stationary equipment and getting out for runs once or twice a week with Laura and hopefully manage to meet up with this new potential guide. It's not perfect or ideal, but if the potential is there, why not give it a shot? You'll never know what could happen if you don't try: that is the beauty of potential.