If you have ever been to a high-profile sporting event, you know where to find the cheap seats. They are called “nosebleed seats,” and are as high and far away from the action as you will get without standing outside. But if you have less-than-perfect vision—I was 20/40 in one eye and 20/300 in the other—the nosebleed seats are everywhere.
He Scores! I Think . . .
I spent the better part of my childhood without glasses or contacts. Headaches in school and constant squinting seemed normal to me; surely, I thought, I wasn’t the only one going through this. But when I was around 11 years old, my father took me to a Calgary Flames game at the Saddledome; back then, Al MacInnis had the hardest slapshot in the NHL, and Lanny McDonald was a legend. We enjoyed the game, but I struggled to make the blurry red shapes on the ice resolve into actual players. Sure, I saw the important parts, such as big hits and scored goals, but it was frustrating to perpetually have to play catch-up with the action. When the game ended, the Flames paraded off the ice, and as it happened, my dad and I were seated right next to their dressing room corridor. They passed by, a sweaty, victorious blur, and I would have missed Al MacInnis if not for my father calling his attention. He came over. And you know what? He gave me his game stick, right then and there. I was ecstatic, but also a bit sad; if my father hadn’t spoken up, I would have missed my big chance to meet Al MacInnis due to poor vision.
No Longer a Nosebleed
In high school and university, I went through pair after pair of glasses, never really satisfied with how they fit. Outdoor sporting events were the worst because I didn’t have the money for prescription sunglasses and had to choose between glare and clarity. I finally applied for a job that had strict vision requirements, and they suggested LASIK. I was initially hesitant; I realized, however, that if I could quell my trepidation, it would mean a new job and no more money wasted on glasses. What’s more, the research that I did suggested that laser vision correction performed by highly trained specialists was not only safe but had a very short recovery time. I went in for an assessment, booked my treatment date, and took the plunge.
The result was 20/20 vision in both eyes. Sporting events are a wholly different experience now that I can see the action and read player numbers and the scoreboard. Admittedly, sometimes it’s still nice to pay a little less and sit in the nosebleed seats—but now I never miss a thing.
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