A Journey to Run Again

We are happy to share this story from an LCB Alumnus.

 Posted by: Pacers Staff

Hi, I’m Evelyn!

I am a blind distance runner from Alexandria, VA. Other than running, I also enjoy skiing, boxing, and many other outdoor recreational activities. I ran in high school as a sighted runner, but as I went blind I did not think that I would be able to run again.

Recently, after moving to the area about 2 years ago, I injured my ankle badly and it put a major dent in my confidence. My walking speed slowed and I became hesitant getting around. But, in February, I was introduced to a Personal Fitness Trainer at work, and he told me that he would help me get back on my feet and running again. This is when my journey begins.

I would consider myself a disciplined and committed individual to staying fit and building a stronger “Evelyn”. Since I am an active participant in my life, I consistently renew the pact that I have with myself.

My Personal Fitness Trainer introduced me to tethers and the treadmill, and eventually we decided to step it up a notch and start running outdoors. Now, running allows me to feel so free and reassures me with a “sitting on top of the world” feeling!

After running for a few months, my Trainer and I registered for the Marine Corps Marathon 10k race as a short term goal and stepping stone for other races. With the momentum that I had built, this MCM 10k event became the sealing deal for me– running is what I want to do! I want to add a special shout-out and thank you to Joy Allen from the Pacers Fairfax location. She welcomed me to the Pacers community with open arms and I couldn’t be happier!

Finally, the day had come! October 25, 2015, I was up and ready in the early hours of the day. With a guide alongside me, I was putting myself to the test. The crowd and participants were lively and ready! We didn’t let the slight drizzle and overcast skies slow us down on race day. The crowds along the 10k course were loud and supportive. With shout outs like “Go Champ!”, and “Keep it up Girl!” …. I got the “running bug”!

With the race in my rearview mirror, I am looking forward to doing many more races at various distances in the near future. Thus far I have already signed myself up for the Shamrock Half-marathon and the Divas 5k Runlater this year.

I would like to leave you off with this one thought: you need to just take the first step and commit yourself to doing something. I give it my all. If I can do it, then you can too– ”if you don’t feel uncomfortable, then there is no challenge!”

By Evelyn Valdez

Evelyn and her trainer running in the Marathon.  

Evelyn and her trainer running in the Marathon.