If you are blind like me, swimming has always been a little challenging because I couldn’t see the pace clock, other swimmers, the practice on the board. Since I’ve started to do more stuff in open water with my team in the last 10 years, it’s…well…game over out there. The orange buoy can be the size of a whale and I can still miss it.
Growing up, prescription goggles were expensive and they made you look like a goob with the big strap, coke bottle lenses, and massive padding. I’m sure I could have seen with them, but I might have been able to clearly see a kickboard flying at my head thrown by a hazing senior.
After nearly 30 years of swimming blind or swimming with contacts and losing them, I finally bought a pair of Speedo Vanquisher Opticals (my favorite goggle type — see Part 1) for $14.95. Yes, 14 fricken dollars and 95 cents! It has helped me immensely in my teaching, swim training, and open water navigation. The lenses go from -1.5 to -8.0. If you need two different lens strengths, buy two pairs and swap the lenses. You’ll have a backup pair of goggles and you’ll only be out about $30.00. Bonus! If I seem a little bit excited about this find, it’s because I’ve constantly had to leave my glasses by the pool, take off my goggles and put on my glasses, or worse wear my goggles on my head while putting on my glasses (i.e., “six eyes”).
The one thing I’ve learned is that you need to follow the care instructions. Make sure that you wash out the lenses in water after each use and air dry. That way, the lenses won’t get foggy from the chlorine.
You can find these goggles cheap by clicking the image above. It will take you to our Chicago Blue Dolphins gear page. Follow the instructions and then go to the Swim Accessories –> Goggles –> Corrective Lens section of the High Point Swim site.