From the Kids Who Impress Beyond Belief files comes the story of Charlotte Brown. If you haven’t heard of Charlotte, prepare to have your proverbial socks knocked off.
Charlotte is a 16-year-old at Emory Rains High School in Texas. That, in and of itself, is not enough for sock removal.
Charlotte is blind. She was born with infant cataracts and her sight steadily deteriorated since she was in sixth grade. She now has a guide dog named Vador (Vador wasn’t trained at Guiding Eyes for the Blind—would love to know where). Being blind, even blind with a cutie patootie guide dog, is not enough, in and of itself, for sock knockage.
Charlotte is an athlete. To be specific, she is a pole vaulter. To be more specific, she is a state ranked pole vaulter. With her name on the back of her jacket in Braille.
Let’s review. Vador takes Charlotte to the starting line at track meets. Her coach places a beeping device near the take-off point in front of the stanchions (he also whistles to help her get correctly positioned). Charlotte then takes a pole taller than the Empire State Building and races at about 6,000 miles an hour down a track she can’t see, plants her pole where her ears tell her to place it, and flies over the bar.
Not only is Charlotte amazing for even being willing to do this, she is an exceptional vaulter. Last year she was 8th in the state. This year, she finished 4th vaulting 11′ 6″. Vador was the only one in the stadium not cheering her on (he was working at the time, so no cheering allowed).
Wait, it gets better.
She has amazing hearing, an amazing sense of smell, and a great sense of humor. Oh, yeah. And she’s ranked 5th out of her class of 121.
Look down. No socks. See? I told you.