Lowell and Julie Taylor make the cut on Episode 1 … What a Race! We were so excited to watch ASRAB’s very own Lowell Taylor and his wife Julie compete with the other Amazing Racers in NWT and Jasper, and pleased that they survived to race again on Episode 2 next week (Tuesday July 5).
As ASRAB previously reported, Lowell has Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and is legally blind. He has no peripheral vision, reduced central vision, and no vision in low light. Lowell has adjusted to decreasing sight his entire life, and has found passion in sports. Lowell and Julie are active triathletes, with Lowell aspiring to compete in the 2020 Paralympics in Para-cycling.
Lowell shared his perceptions of the race with ASRAB:
Where do I start? That was a LONG day! I am so grateful for the opportunity and to be able to share those memories with my beautiful wife Julie. If it wasn’t for her, I would still be looking for words in the trees in Yellowknife!
But let’s get to the question many of you are asking: “How come you couldn’t get across the monkey bars?”
Here is a little behind the scenes action for you! It looks like I fell right away… I was actually on the second last handle to getting up the other side, and it was super hard to do blind! They didn’t show my epic ‘feel it out’ journey across the bottom of the tram! The monkey bars were black, and the bottom of the tram was black. I couldn’t see where I needed to put my hand, so each time I reached out I had to feel for the next bar, grab it, and then swing my other hand over. I made it to the second last bar and I missed. I was hanging by one arm! What a ‘tram’-atizing experience! I pulled myself back up, reached out to grab it again and missed a second time, falling to my great enjoyment… disappointed but so excited to do the bungy jump! It was a ‘tram’-tastic experience. Who gets to do these things? So amazing!
After I fell, I thought about how I could have done that task differently with my blindness. This is a part of nearly everything I do… thinking of creative strategies on how to get things done despite limited vision. With time I can usually come up with a creative strategy. In this race, there is very little time to think things through, and no second chances. If I had put more thought into it, I could have turned my body sideways and shuffled my hands down the edge of the monkey bars, not having to reach out and feel for the next bar. This realization came too late.
My 4 year old son, Fraser, said: “Daddy, you were very brave. You tried your best, but I think if you practiced, next year, you will be able to get across all the monkey bars without falling.” True son. Practising and not giving up on things is super important! Good life lesson. It is amazing having a little fan! It was so fun to share the Amazing Race Canada episode 1 with my kids! Now I get to share episode 2 next week… we weren’t the first team out! Phewf!
Thanks for all the support and encouragement. I hope you enjoyed the first episode!