When Receiving Lemons Make Sure to Use the Zest

Hello there, my name is Leanne. Before anything in this post gets too crazy I thought you might want to learn more about me.

Where It All Began. Hiking, That Is

Lets go back to when I was in middle school, eighth grade or 2011 to be exact. An acquaintance of mine had a friend who at the time volunteered for a nonprofit organization known as JUMP (Just Understand My Potential: http://jumpinc.org). She introduced me to the program and over the years I learned about hiking gear, proper hiking clothing, different outdoor/backpacking skills, and how to interact better with other humans. Physical fitness was not a high priority at the time hiking was introduced into my way of life. That has most certainly changed in the last eight years. How time flies as you get older.


Me in eighth grade; too many hiking trips to remember the location.
See that cherry red body bag; first hiking pack that I ever owned.

Did I Mention New Hampshire?

Not only do I really enjoy hiking/backpacking which are indeed challenging enough. Throw in the fact that 99% of the hiking trips I have been on with JUMP and on my own on have been in the state of New Hampshire in the White Mountains. There is a reason New Hampshire is know as the Granite State. Rocks, rocks, roots, mud, and did I mention the ROCKS!

Don’t get me wrong. New Hampshire is a beautiful state with postcard panoramic views when it’s not raining or foggy. Keep in mind that when I started out hiking I was NOT in shape AT ALL for the mountains of New Hampshire. Fast forward eight years and I love New Hampshire.

Here’s the Catch

I’ve hiked in New Hampshire for the past eight years, and I have overcome a lot of different obstacles, if that’s what you want to call them. On top of New Hampshire being one of the most challenging states to hike within the East Coast, I am legally blind. I know everyone’s eyesight functions vary across the board, but just hold on a minute and I’ll explain. Long story short. I was born three months early, and the eyes are one of the last body functions to develop before leaving your mother’s womb. Anyway, I had three eye surgeries. Doctors were able to correct my right eye but not the left one. My sight was 20/3200 and over time my brain has healed itself so that my right eye is 20/80. Add in a limited depth of field and hardly any peripheral vision to sum up my eyesight.

A Half-Blind Hiker???

Is it possible to hike visually impaired? Yes, indeed it is is. Anything is possible through Christ Jesus my LORD. If you set your mind on anything, a dream, lifelong goal, go ahead and go for it.

See you out there on the trail.

Lemon Zest


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