To prepare yourself for the loss of central vision, become so familiar with the trails above the gorge that you can keep running on them even when things become fuzzier or faded or disappear.
Memorize the Path
Step One || Go for a run
Head to the gorge and run above it on the paved trail. Run at an easy or moderate or fast pace for as long as you want.
Step Two || Prepare to pay attention
Do not wear headphones or run with anyone else. Clear your mind. Breathe.
Step Three || Pay Attention
Pick one of these three ways to pay attention:
Try to take it all in: the hills, the landmarks, how crooked the trail is, how far it is from the road and from the river, where it’s the trickiest and most dangerous.
Focus on only one thing about the trail, like:
- How many times does the walking path diverge from the bike path?
- When is the path (too) close to the road?
- Where does the shared path narrow? Widen?
- Where do the worst traffic jams between bikers and walkers and runners occur?
- Where are the potholes? The divots? The cracked and cratered asphalt?
- When does the path dip down? Rise up?
- Where does the path swerve slightly?
- Where do the sides of the path drop down steeply?
Do not try to pay attention to anything. Go out for a run and be present on the path and open to observing. Absorb the details through your feet, your breath, your body.
Step Four || Take notes
Speak them into your smartphone, write them in your journal, or post them on your online log.
Step Five || Write about them
Experiment with writing your own route descriptions in various forms, such as: limericks, directions, rhymes, epistrophe, or lyric essay.
Step Six || Repeat steps 1-4
Go out for a run by the gorge several times a week for at least 3 years.