The Challenger author Sasha Bykova talked with blind runner Elena Fedoseyeva about whether life changes after losing sight, how she started to love running, what helps her in training, what time she gets up for classes sports (spoiler: very early), and also asked about her plans.
- I was blind at 12 years old: the retina exfoliated. It is not clear what happened: there were no injuries or overvoltage. Doctors explained that in adolescents, some organs grow faster, others slower.
Apparently, the retina was lagging. Six months I was examined, operated on - and nothing. In the end, I myself refused another operation. Tired of it! I wanted to live normally, go to school, study.
Blindness is my reality.
People humble themselves when they lose their legs and arms. And I'm used to it. Usually, people around begin to sympathize: they say, do not worry, doctors will come up with something. Vision is considered the key to happiness. Once blind, then unhappy.
But this is not so. People are happy without vision, and without limbs. My friend Ira Povolotskaya is deaf-blind. She loves to repeat: "I do not need vision or hearing to fully live and be happy." I agree.
The joy of life does not depend on physical data, material well-being, life circumstances. Happiness is within you. How do you perceive the world around you, and then on the soul.
I get jarred when people with disabilities call themselves sick. Patients are at a temperature of about forty.
They feel disgusting and do not get out of bed. Disabled people are not sick. As the deaf-blind professor Alexander Suvorov says, deaf-blind does not pose any new problems for a person. Everyone has the same problems and needs. We all want family happiness, self-realization, joy from work.
Satisfying desires, both healthy people and people with disabilities become happy.
In 2014 -m I joined the project
"Marathon in the dark"
. Then I agreed to everything, participated in any activities for people with disabilities. Having learned about volunteers who are ready to run with the blind, I decided to support them. It was so hard! Now ten kilometers is an ordinary training, but before I died after three hundred meters.
It is good that the body quickly gets used to the loads. After a couple of months I realized that I can’t live without training. I wanted to move, run! In group classes, I made friends with Katya, one of the volunteers: we ran in a bunch. All the guys were so open, sociable. I stayed.
Behind - dozens of races of five and ten kilometers. The brightest: RealRun, the first spring run in Luzhniki, Spring Thunder in Meshchersky Park, a dozen at White Nights in St. Petersburg. Last year, participated in the charity races "Without Borders" and "Running Hearts." I remember the first competitions so far.
I trained for only two months when the organizers of the Marathon in the Dark project staged a race for the blind. We fought, overcame and, finishing second, were insanely happy!
In early April in Berlin I overcame the first half marathon. It ran perfectly. My friend and I enjoyed the distance and chatted all the way. I am for sports for health.
I do not set ambitious goals. I hope for strength so that after 21 kilometers I would like not to die, but to run again. Finishing with thoughts: I want more, further, faster!
I love to run in the winter. At minus eighteen this is much nicer to do than at plus eighteen. Lower temperature - higher speed! And no rivals except snowplows and wipers.
In the arena - boredom. A circle of three hundred meters, a rubber coating, little air, a lot of people. The soul has nowhere to turn around.
In January, I went to New York, where I met with the Achilles running club.
He helps blind runners and triathletes around the world. My friend Roma contacted the guys, and they called me to training in Central Park. On Saturdays a whole crowd arrives - 30-40 people, half blind. Met even a runner with a guide dog! I was given two leaders, and we ran the top ten. On the run we met and managed to chat about everything: about travels, children, pets.
In our sport, the meaning is not in speed and achievements, but in communication with each other.
I never leave without sneakers. I'm going to America - I take sneakers. To Montenegro - I take sneakers. In Tomsk, in Krasnodar, in the village - it does not matter, anyway with sneakers.
I usually run with those who accompany me. Technically, everything is simple. We run in pairs, in a bundle: each on the wrist has an elastic loop. Loops are connected to each other, but do not constrain movement. Only in the village did I run alone.
There is a direct road, no obstacles and few people. The A111115le Watch helped: they counted the meters. I ran 500 meters - turned around and back, and so many times. An indescribable feeling of freedom and independence. In general, this watch is the only sports device that speaks pace, distance and heart rate.
With them I swim in the pool. The clock counts the tracks and average speed. Sync with iPhone: save all workouts. I observe the dynamics, track the progress. It is important for me to know the numbers - I like to control the situation.
In general, I love all the A123138le technology. It is made with care for people with visual impairment. Put a check in the settings - and any device starts talking.
In childhood I loved to ride a bike, did not get off the saddle. A few years ago she began to engage in a professional cycling team.
But the birth of a son has changed priorities. The coach put me before a choice: family or cycling. Professional sports are two trainings a day, training several times a year, tough preparation for competitions, work for the result. For the athlete, family is in second place, work is in third place, and in the first place is sport and only sport. I realized that I can not put training above my son.
When a child was born, I learned to say no. I refused professional cycling, but I can’t do it without training. Therefore, I train in the morning: I get up two or three hours earlier, then I go to work. I devote the rest of the day to my son. I wake up around 5:30.
It's hard, but you get used to it too.
I always have a goal. Let not the super-ambitious, but the goal. It helps to direct forces in one direction.
You try, train, achieve. You feel joy and pride in yourself. You set a new goal - and so on in a circle.
Previously, I seriously thought about the Tour de France. This is a professional cycling race consisting of twenty-one stages.
The length of the route is from three to four thousand kilometers. The dream remains valid, but for now I want to participate in international tandem races. Blind guys travel in the saddle, passing through several countries. Wow! This is not just a sport, but also new discoveries, new people.
The first marathon is definitely a run in Paris.
If you run where you live, it's easy to quit halfway. You think: well, I’m not running - it’s not a problem. Next year for sure! When you go to another country for the sake of the marathon, the path back is cut off. Already bought tickets, got a visa, booked a hotel. Come and not run? No, not an option.
There you have the incentive.
Of the goals for the near future - the sprint distance of the triathlon. The swim is 750 meters, twenty kilometers on a bicycle and five kilometers on a run. Competitions will be in Krylatskoye in August. I'll start with them, and someday I will overcome IronMan!