Monday, 9 March 2015

My Biggest Fear



I first started climbing 5 years ago, it was something that I never considered doing until then. I had a friend who climbed, she said come along and since then I have been hooked. I suppose because of my disability I did not go out and do anything. That all changed when I got married and left home. I found that I wanted to do more, so fast forward to 2010 when it all started. I climbed once a fortnight for 3 years, then I discovered competition climbing and I upped my game.


I got selected for the GB Paraclimbing team, and I am now in my third year of being on the team. Then earlier this year Mark McGowan asked me if I would want to climb the Eiger.  What could I say but yes. To me climbing makes me feel like a normal person, if there's such a thing. When I'm on the rock outside  I feel no different. I know the Eiger is a different kettle of fish but having 3% vision is not my biggest concern, as strange as it is it's having to ask people where is a good place to go to the toilet. I trust Mark 100% with my safety on getting me up the Eiger, and hopefully if I haven't talked his ears off he will let me come down with him. Training is going well but still lots more to do. I hope that by doing this climb it will show people that having a disability/ being blind should not restrict what you can achieve.

Years ago I used to hide the fact that I was losing my sight. I didn't want a white cane so never had mobility training. Eventually I did accept training and was surprised at the difference just having a white cane made. I now have a Guide Dog. No more hiding now. My blindness will not stop me from seeking out adventures.

John