Why not say yes she says
Being blind doesn’t give you an excuse to say no to cooking, climbing the Eiffel Tower or walking a half marathon says a blind woman who has done all three.
Motivational speaker Julie Woods does not let anything stop her from doing what she gets asked to do – no matter what the challenge.
Ms Woods went blind in 1997 when she was 31 years old, married with two sons. She was blinded by an inflammation of the retina and lost full sight within three months.
‘‘I had to deal with life as a blind single parent – but what I am doing now has taken me off the couch,’’ she said.
Known as ‘‘That Blind Woman’’, she now tours the country sharing her experiences and how a disability does not have to weigh you down.
Being a motivational speaker began after Ms Woods was asked to try crosscountry skiing.
‘‘I said no, because I did not think I would be able to do it,’’ she said.
‘‘I since regretted it and now I think, why not?’’
She visited Matamata Intermediate and talked to the students about ‘‘Why Not’’ say yes to things people offer you.
She has already crossed off a list of 20 things people have asked her to do and she accepted.
‘‘I have talked to John Key, walked six half marathons, refereed a nude rugby game, got a three pointer when trying to sink a basketball and climbed the Eiffel tower, to name a few.’’
Next month Ms Wood is flying to China to walk across the Great Wall of China because someone asked her to and she isn’t one to turn down a challenge.
She said she enjoyed her visit to Mata- mata and the students were very enthusiastic. ‘‘It was so cool to be there,’’ she said. ‘‘ I like talking to intermediate age people because they are open minded and willing to be inspired. The response is incredible.’’
In October, Ms Woods plans to break a Guinness World Record by baking world’s biggest truffle.
‘‘When I was blind I had to make them [ truffles] over and over again so I wouldn’t forget the recipe since I couldn’t read it anymore and now I always bake them,’’ she said.
‘‘The truffle will be 252 kilograms.’’
Motivated: Julie Woods, pictured with a group of Matamata Intermediate students, doesn’t let her blindness stop her from doing what she wants to do.