Editor's note: we're happy to have Bobbi blogging for us again after she has recovered from an injury that stopped her from lifting. Now that she's back at it, she'll be sharing what it's like to a power lifter but also a female athlete, mom and person with a visual impairment. Welcome back Bobbi!
Through injury, recovery, increased vision loss and a few stumbling blocks, it would be easy in a sense to walk away. I decided on a new approach, to take it back. Even if I cannot have what I had before, it's about taking back inner power. That was hard to figure out in the beginning since that's the flame that likes to die out first.
I made what seemed at the time to be a very hard decision to get a seeing eye dog. At first it seemed like I was giving up, having to rely on something else. That is not the case, this was the first step in taking back my power, my freedom. Not only have I gained a brilliant companion but I didn't realize how slowed down I have been, and afraid, especially this past year. With the addition of my fabulous black lab, I have a whole new aspect on life. He locates objects, steers me safe in public, watches for traffic in all kinds of situations, and keeps me from tripping over things.
We have also been able to pattern him: he finds the walk light buttons, our post office box at the mail and knows my regular destinations by heart. The surprising thing is the location of things that apply to my life: find the bench press or object in the gym, find (insert family member name). I now have more courage and independence. I took back part of me when I gained a canine companion, a part of me I missed.
The other part I am working on taking back is also internal strength. I have always enjoyed a challenge but to feel strong after you feel like things have disappeared is definitely a plus. My world around me has become a bit scarier. I can definitely handle it but I needed to find what makes me feel strong. Powerlifting helps that and I love it but I needed to add something that was just for joy and feed my soul. I started training with the strongman implements: tires, stones, hammers, deadlift platforms, and trucks. Not just normal trucks, we even pulled a semi!
For me that takes back an inner strength like no other. You feel as if you can accomplish a little bit of the unreachable and regain your "brave". Not being able to see can sometimes destroy that, so you can let it slip or take it back. I choose take it back. These events are fun for me and they help with powerlifting as cross training.
My dog goes everywhere with me. So you can find us in the gym or he is with everyone right next to the tire flips and stone picks. Nothing phases him, as if he was born specifically for my lifestyle. I catch him snoozing occasionally in the squat rack or curled up on a 45lb plate. I am grateful for the things that help me take back the parts of me that began to blur. Instead of admitting defeat by applying for a dog, I gained strength and independence. By training in a new form I regained the innermost part of me that needed building up. We can all choose to let it go, or find a way to take it back, sometimes that comes in unusual but fabulous forms.