I Won’t Let My Blindness Limit Me
Testimonial by Digifit User Terry G.
I saw February’s newsletter and read Tim W.’s story, the blind athlete who is shooting for the Paralympics using Digifit technology. Well, I would love to add to his story, and increase the number of us who are blind and have found Digifit to be a lifesaver to track our fitness performance.
I am a totally blind 25-year-old living in Aurora Colorado. I lost all my sight at age ten due to 22 eye surgeries that filled my eyes with scar tissue, leaving me completely blind. However, ask anybody who knows me, and they will tell you that I don’t let my blindness limit me. Back in 2011 I decided to do my first sprint triathlon…I nearly drowned! I had running and biking experience, but hardly any swimming experience. It took me 41 minutes to do the swim. I had a great time and I got a swim coach in 2012 and I was determined to do better. I not only improved my swim time from 41 minutes to 16 minutes in the same race, but I completed 3 triathlons in 2012, including my first Olympic distance.
However, I am still looking to get better. I got a professional coach at the end of 2012 that was giving me very tailored workouts, mostly dependent on heart rate training, distance, power, etc. I had never monitored any of this data before and was seeking a way to figure out how. Then I found Digifit, and it has been the best tool I have ever used to tailor my workouts.
When I want to train on my bike I put my phone into the Digifit Connect Bike Case that is mounted on my CompuTrainer bike for my cycling work outs. My bike has a speed and cadence sensor installed, I put on my Heart Rate Monitor and am ready to go. Or I slap in an ANT+ Adapter, put on my foot pod and heart rate monitor, and I am ready for tracking my runs either outside with my guide or on the treadmill.
During my CompuTrainer work outs on the bike, the CompuTrainer software doesn’t communicate my data to me, but Digifit does with the amazing and very customizable voice output, which is the selling mark for Digifit to the blind. I can know my speed, distance, power, and heart rate. Also, it uploads straight to Training Peaks, alongside my CompuTrainer data, and my coach can clearly see what I am doing. I have used Digifit for functional threshold power tests, and heart zone/power workouts, and my cycling has greatly improved.
For the running, I regularly perform long distance runs, and for these I have intervals organized around heart rate zones. Digifit helps me stay right where I need to, and either outside or inside, I know what I am doing. I have even used Digifit Assessments to determine max heart rate with amazing results.
I have completed 1 half marathon so far in 2013, and have 6 triathlons including the Boulder 70.3 half ironman, a full marathon, and a swim meet where I will be swimming long distance. Digifit is helping me to become a better triathlete and is playing a vital part in my ultimate goal; I am going to do my first ironman race in 2014 in Cozumel.