Richard Bernstein

Struck By Bicyclist, A Blind Marathoner Vows To Run In November

I’ve never believed in allowing my disability to define who I am as a person. From the moment I was born, I’ve lived my life not knowing what the people and things that surround me look like. I am blind. What some consider a curse, I consider to be a blessing, because my disability has given me the ability to perceive and experience life in ways that those born with the ability to see cannot. Being blind is all I’ve ever known, so I’ve only had but one choice in life: adapt or fail to survive.

Richard Bernstein

The Long Run

Blind athlete finishes grueling Israman triathlon;
shifts gears and perceptions.

Special To The Jewish Week
02/08/2011

A few hundred of the finest amateur athletes in the world gathered in Eilat last month for the annual Israman triathlon, where they swam in the Red Sea, cycled uphill through desert heat, and then ran for miles along trafficked roads. Among the competitors in this year’s Israman, Israel’s version of the arduous Ironman triathlon competition, was a man who didn’t exercise at all until about seven years ago; a man who can’t see two feet in front of him, or even own feet for that matter.

Richard Bernstein with his running companion Shaked. “I was putting my entire being into someone else’s hands,” Bernstein says.
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