Social media and news in recent times has been filled with hate and negativity. Just as you cannot fight darkness, only light lamps, Hate and Negativity cannot be fought. You need to bring Love and Positivity forward instead.
I bring to you the We Are the World Blogfest, along with these fabulous co-hosts:
“We Are the World Blogfest” seeks to promote positive news. There are many an oasis of love and light out there, stories that show compassion and the resilience of the human spirit. Sharing these stories increases our awareness of hope in our increasingly dark world.
Check out one such story, posted 3 days ago at https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/good-news/a-blind-runner-and-his-very-good-boy/ar-AAtZCgT. In a few days, be sure to check out what happens at:
The blind runner’s can-do attitude inspired me to:
- Do my best no matter the odds against me.
- Remember that a real friend is someone you can depend on to be there if you need him or her, and
- Remember, as the Beatle song puts it: “I get by with a little help from my friends.”
A brief synopsis of the article follows:
A Blind Runner and His Very Good Boy, The New York Times, By DANIEL KRIEGER
Thomas Panek had been a runner from a young age, and continued to compete in road races after he was blinded in his early 20s. Whether he ran the New York City Marathon or the Boston Marathon, human guides, connected by a tether, led his way.
And yet Mr. Panek, now 47, has wondered what it would be like to run with one of his guide dogs, but was told that guide dogs were not appropriate for long-distance running, let alone a race.
One morning in April 2014, a friend brought up running with a guide dog: “Why don’t you see if it’s possible?”
He began dwelling on the challenges and held a focus group for the blind community to weigh in. In early 2015, the first program for training guide dogs to run with their handlers occurred. For the pilot, Mr. Panek used his guide dog, Gus, a yellow Lab. “I’ll have to prove it’s safe,” he recalled.
On Oct. 29, Mr. Panek and Gus hope to reach this milestone when they run the Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff, a five-mile race in Central Park, without human assistance.
“Gus sets the pace,” he said, “and I follow him.” Trotting at a nine-minute-mile clip, Gus, 5, is trained to avoid obstacles, slow down for congestion and, above all, keep Mr. Panek safe.
Moving with abundant caution and focus, Gus is unfazed by the steady flow of bicycles, horses, pedestrians and other dogs streaming past in both directions. Six miles is the maximum distance Guiding Eyes allows its dogs to run.
“We want to make sure that the dog is happy and healthy while running,” Mr. Panek said.
As for the five-miler this weekend, Mr. Panek said he is feeling more butterflies for that than for the New York City Marathon, which he will run for the second time the following Sunday. “But I’m also confident that Gus is going to get me through it,” he added. “This will be a good first step to show that it’s possible for me to run a race without a human guide.”
A New York Road Runners spokesman, Chris Weiller, said in a recent phone interview that the events team has thought through this and is comfortable with Mr. Panek’s plan, which includes having a vet present and water breaks.
“We want Thomas and the dog to have a good run and be safe,” he said. To ensure that, a spotter on a bicycle will follow along in case any problems arise. Mr. Panek will start off in the rear; and Gus will wear a bib so all can see he is an official participant.
And if all goes well with the race, the next step will be to develop best practices for other blind runners, “to set the standard for running a race with a guide dog,” Panek said. “Gus contributes,” he said. “He’s my training partner.”