Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I took the Metro to work today instead of biking. This was to insure that I'd get home before the potential new roommates come over.

I live 15 minutes (on foot) away from the station. The metro ride takes about 25-30 minutes. Add to that the incredible heat this morning and I was wishing I'd biked. If I'm going to get sweaty, let me at least get some exercise at the same time.

Across the street from the metro station, I saw a man with a blind person's cane (red and white striped rod with a plastic ball on the end). He was a tall, slightly-overweight, bald, middle-aged man. What's strange is that he seemed to be talking to someone while looking towards them and gesturing. He nodded his head to them, pointed his two fingers at his own eyes, and then pointed the same fingers at their eyes.

When I got to his side of the street, the person he was talking to had left and the (blind?) guy was starting to walk across the way I had come. He tapped on the ground ahead of him like a blind person, but it looked like he was squinting down at where he was tapping.

I puzzled over that until I pulled into the station near my office, when I saw girl get off the same train as me with the same kind of cane. She was clearly blind. Her cane tapped the back of my shoe twice. I heard someone behind me offer to help her, and she smiled and refused.

Here's the thing about her, though: she was fit, and kind of attractive. She looked like she was a runner or something. I couldn't help thinking, why would she bother?

Not that being fit is all about looking a certain way. I want to be in shape mainly for the health benefits. But there is a part of me that is very visual. I would not want to look like the homeless guy I saw the other day--huge beer belly, stained white T-shirt, bad skin, patchy hair, etc.--because I like looking good, or at least looking decent.

What's the motivation, then, for a blind woman to run on a treadmill? Health? Feeling physically fit? Or is it for the eyes of people around her?

If I were blind, I would not care as much about clothing, food, or fitness. And I probably wouldn't bike as much. But I would try to become a samurai master:

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