I was at athletics training on Wednesday night, warming up with my coach, as my guide runner has injured herself and he commented on how well I run on my own. I’m fairly used to sprinting by myself these days, with all the drama of last year being in between guide runners. I don’t always manage to stay in a straight line, veering to the left in most cases, but I would say at least 80% of the time I stay in a single lane. Anyway, I made a joke that I would be doing long jump next! I’m just so funny aren’t I, I don’t know where my humour comes from!
My coach decided to take the comment seriously, asking if it was a Paralympic event, what the qualification standards are and how I would be good at it, as I run faster on my own than with a guide. Since losing my useful vision at 18, I’ve never done long jump with the whole fear of not being able to stay in a straight line. The last time I did do it, remembering I used to run a phenomenal 17secs for 100m, took about 5 strides and saw the board about 1 foot away from me and never trained for the event, I managed 2.79m.
I looked up the qualification standards for the IPC Athletics World Championships starting next week and was surprised that the B standard is only 2.75m and the A standard 3.70m. I’m not sure about the A standard, but I certainly shouldn’t have had any problem getting the B standard. I guess for totally blind people to run on their own, learn the long jump technique and land on the board isn’t an easy feat. I’ve done various types of jumps onto a high jump bed in training and that split second being between the floor and the bed petrifies me! I happily do it, but I’m always glad when it’s over!
So, I don’t know whether I’m going to become a long jump superstar, but there would be no harm in trying it again, after all landing in the sand is at least sort of soft!