ENCINITAS, Calif. — A blind triathlete needed the community's help to keep her gold medal dreams alive. In this Zevely Zone, I went to Encinitas for the follow up we were all hoping for.
Amy Dixon is a blind Paralympic triathlete who essentially lives her life looking through a keyhole. She is 98% blind but sitting right there in front of her was an act of generosity that unlocked her isolation.
Amy is the U.S. Paralympic triathlon champion whose six-hour-a-day training program was put on hold. Amy's gym was shut down due to the coronavirus forcing her to make a plea for help for a treadmill a few weeks ago.
"Anyone who has one sitting in their garage that they are not using I would be very grateful, I would send somebody to come pick it up," said Amy.
Amy needed a treadmill because she can only run when tethered to a partner. Due to social distancing running outside was impossible but an act of kindness helped to make running inside possible.
Cameron Trickey, from Primo Fitness out of Orange County, made the special delivery on a rainy day. He and his crew dropped off a commercial grade treadmill for Amy.
"Considering what is going on [and] she is an American treasure, what a legend, what a great athlete. We got to look after our athletes, she is a light out there in the community so it was the least we could do," said Cameron.
Amy was smiling from ear to ear while the treadmill was set up.
"Oh my goodness this was such a shock and surprise and such a generous gift," Amy said. "I mean this is not just a home treadmill... this is a commercial-grade treadmill that is something in any of the major gyms."
Even after receiving the treadmill, Amy had difficulty hooking it up to her detached garage. We asked our News 8 viewers for help and three electricians volunteered. Randy Sugimoto, an electrician, from Motoelectric was nice enough to get Amy plugged in.
The treadmill is up and running and immediately so is Amy.
What happens to her when she's can't workout?
"We don't want to know," said Amy laughing. "I have had 33 surgeries in order to slow down my vision loss and years of chemotherapy as well."
Amy says take it from her, when you put one foot in front of the other better times are always waiting over the horizon.
"I've noticed that when I do go out for walks with my guide dog people are friendlier and people are generally interested in how your day is going. Even [neighbors] from across the street ask 'how are you holding up? do you need anything?'" said Amy.
Amy did need something and this community stepped up to help her. Now she has 12 extra months to train which could be worth its weight in gold.