Saturday, July 30, 2016

Look up, move forward blog

I am sharing my thoughts - journey of writing, running, cycling, Becky/Georgie guide dog team, thoughts as a therapist ... and just life journeys here: Hope you'll join us and I also hope I will get back to being a consistent blogger! I would love to hear from you!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Making History - Ragnar

There is so much to say about this tiring, amazing, history making experience!   I'll post more later but here is the clip a couple days before.

Here is the link from Fox News:  Ragnar

My favorite moment from this experience will be -- when we were all near the finish line and were waiting for our runner to come in .. we met him about 50 yards and made an arch with our canes that he ran through .. then we ran behind him.  So awesome!!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Our Clip

The past month has been so fun!  Retreats, Ragnar, Book Signings, Presentations in Baltimore, Visits with Natalie and a segment on Fox about our book.  #lookupmoveforward #celebratethejourney

Sharing on Fox - Look up, move forward

Monday, June 20, 2016

Look up, move forward

The favorite part of writing this book has been connecting with friends, family and meeting new friends!  As people have begun to share with me they have read the book, I have loved hearing about their stories of courage.  We each have a story to share.

Thank you!  If is available in the following formats at this time:

Print Copy

Look up, move forward - Kindle Version

Look up, move forward - Nook Version

Steve sharing a part of our story.  I think I'm trying to not cry :).  

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Salt Lake Marathon


I ran the Salt Lake City Marathon yesterday with three remarkable friends.  I love them and am so grateful for their friendships and willingness to also guide me along the journey.  We stayed in step fro 26.2 miles.  

Here we are at the starting line

We enjoyed the journey stopping for some photo ops :).  

This is Larry - he has run over 1600 marathons.  Incredible!
So grateful for incredible support from my family ... always!  Steve cheered us on at the half way point and again at mile 25 where it was so wonderful to have him run the last mile with him.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Running tethered

I love hearing how someone, who is visually impaired, has found the joy of running with one of the tethers made by my friend Shannon! Today I heard from my friend, Joy at doublevisionblog about her run ... so fun!    

This link tells you a little bit about how my tether came to be.  What happened to that girl who walked into the stop sign and walked so cautiously for a while?  She learned how to walk safely with a cane ... then a guide dog and she is now running!   My tether is red - stretchy fabric - made by my friend Shannon over six years ago!  I am so impressed that I haven't lost it :).  The miles this tether has logged are quite remarkable ... Boston, NYC, St. George, Top of Utah, Utah Valley Marathons and SLC Marathon coming in a couple weeks.  Several half-marathons, 10Ks, 5Ks and so many journeys along Davis Boulevard.  


Running tethered with friends - Brenda and Suzette.  Its a wonderful way to start the day before seeing clients at Resilient Solutions, Inc as a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor.   Photo by Rick Egan/SL Tribune

Tether - Anchors something moveable to a reference point which may be fixed or moving.  I like thinking of the tether as an anchor.  We have our anchors in our life that keep us grounded.  I also believe we are here to tether each other.  I am so very grateful for the anchors - who tether me through life. Sometimes we are the steady part guiding the way and other times we may be holding on to be guided.  Other times we are simply connected perhaps, enjoying a good conversation on the run.  I think there are times we don't even realize how connected we are.  Suddenly, there is something to be steered around and we are reminded of the gratitude of being tethered.  Running.  Life.

 Here is a clip of an interview that includes some running with the tether:  I love running

My sweet friend, Shannon has made more tethers!  It has been so fun to share these tethers and hear about someone visually impaired loving to run again or starting to for the first time  They are so durable and made of a fabric that has just a little give which makes it comfortable for both the guide and the visually impaired runner.  If you are interested in buying a tether (she sells them for $20 ... leave me a comment or email me at becky.lpc@gmail.com)  

Friday, March 25, 2016

Strength and Courage

Happy Anniversary Georgina - "Georgie"!  Two years ago we became a team.  In typical fashion when its time for a picture she leans in for a kiss.  I still marvel each day at the beautiful relationship of a guide dog team!  Thank you Goergie for loving to work and to play.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. -- Lao Tzu

Thanks Georgie, and all involved in the beautiful journey of a guide dog team in giving me strength and courage.

 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

We can do hard things in life

There are many analogies to life and running.  This morning was our 20-mile run in preparation for the Salt Lake Marathon on April 16, and afterwards I can still walk :).

An experience happened today that I have been reflecting on as another life lesson.  We were on about mile 16 running up a hill.  We were feeling it.  Just a little further until we reached the top of the hill.   A car pulled over and a nice friendly woman got out of her car.  She came up and gave me a hug.  It was sweet and automatically gave us all a lift!  She said she had noticed us earlier running in Centerville.  She wanted to find us and tell us thank you and that we reminded her We can do hard things in life.  It was so fun to visit with her and meet her sweet little boys.  

We were lifted by her willingness to take the time and stop and cheer us on.  Although she felt we had inspired her ... I felt inspired and lifted by her.  The example she sent to her boys was beautiful.  I was reminded to take the time to acknowledge and celebrate others and the way they are impacting our lives.  After her hug, there was an extra bounce in my step as we finished running up that hill.

Photo Credit - Rick Egan, Salt Lake Tribune

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Happy Ten Year Anniversary at Resilient Solutions, Inc.

Friday evening we celebrated our ten-year anniversary of Resilient Solutions, Inc. It was so fun to celebrate with this incredible group of women all therapists and dear friends at our office.  The food at Twig's was fantastic!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Retreat for Women, who are blind/visually impaired!!



Our second retreat for Women who are blind/visually impaired or diagnosed with an eye condition.

**I am so excited about this upcoming event we have planned!  If you know a woman that is blind or visually impaired that might like to join us, please share!!    
Caption reads:  Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do. -- Brene Brown, from the Gifts of Imperfection
Daring to Own Your Story
A retreat for women
(who are blind or visually impaired)

Why attend a retreat specifically for visually impaired women?At times when facing vision loss, many women may feel isolated because they often don't know anyone who shares their unique challenges. This retreat is an opportunity to connect and share stories with other women experiencing vision loss.  You will also leave with empowering tools and new insight through the Brene Brown, www.brenebrown.com -- www.thedaringway.com, experiential activities. This retreat is an experience to truly own and celebrate who you are and your story. 

Becky Andrews, LCMHC and Nicole Wall, LCMHC will lead you on an amazing journey of connection, learning, growth, adventure and laughter. 

Becky Andrews, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and owner and clinical Director of Resilient Solutions, Inc (blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa).

Nicole Wall, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Certified Daring Way Facilitator. Facilitates the Daring Way Course by Brene Brown. 


Retreat size is limited to 10.  

When?  Thursday August 18 5 PM – Sunday 11 AM August 21, 2016, We will also hold a getting acquainted call with everyone prior to the retreat! 

Where?  Country Inn & Suites, Bountiful, Utah.  We will also be holding part of our retreat at Becky’s home and office in Bountiful and an afternoon/evening in Salt Lake City, Utah and an optional hike early Saturday morning.  All transportation while you are at the retreat will be provided.  Transportation from the airport to the hotel is available by requesting through the hotel prior to your stay ($15 charge).  Bountiful is 15 miles from SLC Airport. 


A special thank you to Joy Thomas and Jenelle Landgraf at Doublevisionblog.com for their collaboration.  We are so grateful for sharing this experience together.  You can visit their blog at www.doublevisionblog.com and watch this amazing video that will give you further insight on our retreat:http://doublevisionblog.com/2015/10/01/1447/

Retreat Details:   

Retreat is$195 (register before May 5th), $295 after if still availability and Includes: Retreat Thursday 5 PM – Sunday 10 AM.
Meals included:  Thursday Dinner/ Friday & Saturday Lunch and Saturday dinner.  Breakfast will be included at the hotel each morning. Friday evening after activities in Salt Lake City, we will eat at City Creek together – Attendees will purchase their own meal for this evening.  Additional activity will include:  a hike to Ensign Peak. 

To reserve your room, call the hotel, 801.292.8100 and indicate Resilient Solutions rate.  The rate is $99/room and will be available Wed, August 17 – Monday, August 22.  Website: http://hotels.countryinns.com/ut/bountiful/hotels_bountiful_ut_utwestb.html

You can have your own room or choose to share with another woman attending the retreat.  

Airfare, travel expenses, and hotel are the responsibility of the attendees. 

We are so excited to share in this experience.  If you have further questions, please feel free to contact Becky atbecky.lpc@gmail.com.

We are grateful for Resilient Solutions, Inc for lending their office space and being a generous sponsor for this event.  www.resilientsolutionsinc.com

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Please send check payable to Oasis Center for Hope, Attn:  Becky 1355 N. Main, Ste.1, Bountiful, Utah 84010 and the following details:   

Name ____________________________  Phone ______________

Email _________________________ 
Preferred way to receive information: 

Large Print/Electronic ______________________­­­­­­­­­__

Our Songs

As my first guide (for nine years), Pantera opened up many doors for me and gave me increased confidence as a woman - who is blind.  The story shared of my kids running after me at the Portland Airport after graduation has been told a time or two :).  Whenever I hear this song, You Raise Me Up,  I think of my Pantera.

Cricket has been my connecter.   In so many ways we have had opportunities to connect with others.  So very grateful for those deep brown eyes that have blessed my life.  When you say nothing at all is our song :). As we were walking back to our seats after speaking at the GDB Holiday Luncheon, this song was playing with pictures of guide dog teams.  Listen to the words and you can see how beautifully it fits.  Love it.
Steve and Becky -- GDB Holiday Luncheon 2011.
Gotta love breaking your arm just before you are to fly to speak to 700 people :). 

Now my third guide:  Georgina.  Of course, Georgina soon became Georgie Girl.  But the real song that represents Georgie is: Happy   It was playing almost each morning as we got in the van for training.  Georgie is such a happy dog.  I love how she celebrates her victories in life.   I love that she wags her whole body when you pull out the harness.  I love that she wags her whole body when she knows she 'nails it' on a Find (Steve, the elevator, the escalator, the door, the stairs, the ice - at the convenience store, the chair, the counter,)  Yesterday I made the mistake of mentioning to a client that we were going to go for a walk.  Georgie heard that word and bounced up wagging her whole body ready to go for a walk.   Georgie is my make it happen dog.  Whether she is asked to find a destination, or relaxing around home and pulls out a toy and nudges you til you play a game of tug with her :).  She makes it happen.
Photo by Rick Egan - SL Tribune

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Sunshine!

Last weekend plus we spent in St. George. We left Wednesday evening and came back home on Monday so a wonderful get away! We found sunshine, family, friends, new friends and joy in being in the outdoors. As I am preparing for a marathon, the schedule said 13 miles for this weekend. Not being in town with my friends my next option was perhaps I could run a half marathon down there and see if just by chance there might be someone running that would be open to running as my guide. I 'put it out there' .. shared with friends, even on facebook and one of my friends/colleagues had a friend in Hurricane that could run part and had a friend that could run it all. I was thrilled and a little scared!
Meet my new friends Shelli and Mandi.  They were amazing as guides, they were so kind and helpful and we had a great time runnig through the trails, roads of Washington, Utah.  My time was 2:19 so I was very happy with that as well.  Thank you so much Shelli and Mandi.  I look forward to running again with you sometime!!  
Our friends Paul and Phyllis were in town and we had the chance to go on our first bike ride of the season together.  It was short but felt so great!! Can't wait for the next one.  
I was so excited that Steve could run the 5K.  He was the one that was my first guide and his knees haven't let him continue to run as much as I have -- so it was super fun to see him get to run and he waited for us and ran the last mile with us on the half-marathon.  

We also enjoyed time with Kendall, who is down there working on some courses for a master's degree, my parents, and even extended family.  Georgie got in some wonderful walks as well.  

We love it down there and grateful we can go down for long weekends.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Little things mean a lot

Sometimes I reflect on all the little things a guide dog does each day that are so meaningful and helpful. I am grateful for each day. Last week we had an appointment with our dentist. He had moved to a new office. It was a confusing space especially the first time. After leaving his office I was confused on which way to leave the building. I needed to find the stairs we had come up. It was time to fully turn it over to Georgie. I told Georgie - Find the stairs - hoping she could find our way out of this confusing building. She did! Great work, Georgie Girl. Thank you.
Find gratitude in the little things and your well of gratitude will never run dry.  -- Antonio Montoya

Friday, January 29, 2016

Georgie Girl running down the street so fancy free :).

Oh my this dog, Georgie. I adore her! She has such a fun, sweet personality as well as an amazing guide dog. Each of my guide dogs has been such a blessing in my life and their personalities have been amazing for me in that time. This morning it was 14 miles on the marathon training plan. Georgie is used to seeing me get dressed up in running clothes and leave in the morning. She seems to understand she's not invited for this event. She greeted me with a bone that Steve said .. she is color coordinated! So so cute. We stopped in and got her for the last mile. She ran with my friend Suzette and Brenda guided me. She loved it and was little Georgie Girl running down the street so fancy free :). I feel so grateful for such great friends, a healthy body, and the joy of getting out and enjoying the morning.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Interview for Love is Blind

Today we were interviewed and will be on Fox 13 at 1 PM to share about an upcoming event: Love is Blind with the Utah Foundation for the Blind. It will be next Friday, February 5th. I have been invited to be one of the speakers and looking forward to a fun evening!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Educating

Majority of the days for work Steve and I are able to coordinate transportation.  Probably once or twice a week our schedules don't fit and I call an Uber or a cab.  Majority of the time by far, I have had incredible   positive experiences with Uber. I love hearing the driver's stories of what led them to driving for Uber.  I've heard stories such as I donate all my earnings to the Food Bank.  I am earning money for my grandkids college, etc.  I told one Uber driver, Uber is almost like being able to drive.  Its super convenient and pretty economical, too.  

This past Tuesday, Steve was not in town and so I planned to call an Uber for a ride home after work.  I turned on the ap, requested a ride and finished up my work at the office.  After a few minutes the driver arrived.  As I walked out to get into his car, his window was rolled down and he called out no dogs allowed.  I could then hear the click of his door ! I said, This is my guide dog.  Assuming he must not be aware that Georgie is a service animal. He again said no dogs allowed in a more irritated tone.  I wasn't about to be turned away.  I also wanted to give him another chance..  I told him (surprisingly still very calm :) once again that she was a guide dog, explaining the law (Americans with Disabilities Act) and that indeed she was allowed in his car.  He became a little more angry and told me his company did not allow dogs in their cars.  I said yes they do and if he chose to deny me I would contact Uber to file a complaint..  He drove off.and charged my card for denying the ride! I walked back into my office frustrated yet calm.  This was an inconvenience yet grateful that I knew the response on the other end would be positive.  I emailed Uber Support to report this unfortunate situation.  

Meanwhile I was ready to go home.  I pulled up the Uber ap again and called for a new driver.  While I was waiting for him to arrive, I received a call from the Uber Support.  She was super apologetic and helpful.  She waived the charge he had assessed and told me he would be talked to and educated further.  She indicated it was a reminder that they still had work to be done on educating their drivers.  

The next driver was so nice and was so surprised to hear what had happened.  He said - how could he not know that we are trained on that as soon as we start!  

It took a little extra time to send the email and make the phone call.  And to be honest after a long day it was tempting to just think .. oh well.   However ...Through many experiences in advocacy, I've learned that assertive educating goes a long ways and follow-up is important and brings positive results.  I think the next time this driver picks up a guide dog team he'll be educated :).  

Your silence gives consent. -- Plato