If you live in the Washington area you may have seen this article in the Post Magazine a few weeks ago. If you haven't seen it, it is a wonderful story and worth your time to read it. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/bodybuilder-pat-leahys-lack-of-sight-doesnt-affect-his-vision/2013/06/05/c9040f42-b9bb-11e2-92f3-f291801936b8_story.html
After reading the story I thought this was just the type of person to be a role model for Clay. Fortunately the Post put me in touch with Pat, and he agreed to spend an afternoon with all of us recently. We joined him and his guide dog for lunch, and then a tour of the gym where he works out. It was a great afternoon for us all. Pat is funny, kind, and inspiring. He uses technology more than anyone I know and he told us about some great iphone apps -- including one that identifies colors (useful for getting dressed), and one that can tell the denomination of money (useful for not getting ripped off!). Pat spoke easily with Clay and Grace -- probably because he has a niece and nephew almost the same ages. He taught us a bit about guide dogs, and Clay was happy to meet a dog who has a purpose other than jumping on him (unlike our terrier Pearl). He showed Clay which machines he works out on, and Clay was in awe of the sled that Pat pulls across the gym with heavy weights riding on it. Clay loved the rope machine that simulates the moves necessary to pull up as if scaling a wall. Pat works full time, but is also working on a documentary that focuses on getting children with disabilities to use exercise as a way to strengthen themselves physically and mentally. I overheard Clay telling his camp counselors this week about Pat. I also heard Clay saying "feel my muscles...I've been working out in a gym!." Here are a few photos from our visit with Pat.