A few weeks ago, Editor-in-Chief James Spina approached me and asked me if I would be willing to write a column for our upcoming April issue focusing on sport eyewear. I immediately agreed, but then began to wonder what I could possibly contribute to an issue based solely on athletic and performance eyewear as I’m not the athlete I once was.
Growing up, I played every sport you could imagine. From tennis and golf, to soccer and volleyball, I was always ready to participate in any sort of athletic activity. Travel softball was the main sport that took up most of my time during my youth. My parents and I spent hours traveling back and forth between games, tournaments and practices for months on end. I still think of these times as a favorite part of my childhood.
Fast forward a few years to high school, where I narrowed down my athletic participation to the varsity volleyball and softball teams. I’d like to say I thrived on these teams, making friends and contributing to successful seasons for four years and making memories that have lasted all of these years. My senior year of high school, I remember being melancholy about the ending of each season because my time in organized sports was finally coming to an end. In college, my roommates and I played on a few intramural teams but it wasn’t the same competition and fun that we were used to. So it’s safe to say that my participation in athletics is no longer in existence.
Although I no longer play sports, I do feel as though I can contribute to our sport themed issue. When I was younger and participating in all of these activities, my eyesight was progressively getting worse, and I needed to find a solution to be able to play at my best. At first, I tried wearing fashion eyewear while playing sports, but found that these frames were not staying in place and extremely uncomfortable. Then I tried playing without any sort of vision correction all together, which just caused myself to become dizzy and nauseous on and off the field. Finally, my doctor suggested contact lenses, which solved all of my problems. I didn’t have to worry about my glasses slipping off my face or missing a moment in the action due to my eyesight. I haven’t stopped wearing them since.
After working at 20/20 for the past few years and learning more about sport eyewear, I always wonder why the option of a sport frame wasn’t given to me as a child. Sport frames now encompass more features than ever that allow optimum performance. I think it’s very important to introduce this type of eyewear to children of all ages so they can make the decision as to what form of vision correction they want. You never know what child might gravitate toward a cool performance frame as opposed to contact lenses.
• Victoria Garcia
Senior Associate Editor