Charlie Kramer | January 2022 Men In Motion

A black and white photo of Charlie Kramer an attractive white man standing confidently with his white cane. He is wearing a black tee shirt with black jeans while resting both of his hands on the top of his cane.

Men In Motion | Charlie Kramer

I help people understand that the more that you embrace the fullness and the power of who you are, the more life gets frickin awesome.

~Charlie Kramer

Editor’s Note

Happy New Year!! I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday and are looking forward to creating an amazing 2022.

After a nearly month long battle with the after effects of Covid I’m slowly on the mend. As a result of my illness I haven’t been able to complete all my tasks and it’s going to take some time for me to recouperate but I could not let today’s post be delayed. Charlie Kramer is smart, funny, and very engaging. I am always learning something new from his content he shares on Instagram. Included in this post is Charlie’s YouTube video with the transcription below for those who prefer to read. Enjoy! ~Steph

Beyond Sight Magazine Cover

Beyond Sight Cover: A black and white photo of Charlie an attractive white man standing confidently with his white cane. He is wearing a black tee shirt with black jeans while resting both of his hands on the top of his cane. Text on the cover reads "Beyond Sight January 2022 | Men In Motion | Charlie Kramer."

YouTube Video

Introduction

A black and white waist shot photo of Charlie wearing a white shirt and smiling while holding his white cane out in front of him.

Hi, everyone, my name is Charlie Kramer, I’m so excited to be here with you. And I’m really, really honored to be Bold Blind Beauty’s Man In Motion for this month.

I’m coming to you from Los Angeles, California and I want to share a little bit about my journey with vision loss, which has progressed over time. It’s been something that has been a big challenge at many points in my life, but wasn’t something that I focused on or even accepted or paid attention to, until about the last four or five years. And that journey of acceptance has completely changed my life just absolutely shifted everything and changed it, and for that I’m grateful.

Today I come to you actually being really, honestly just happy to be blind and that is something that I never would have said years ago. So I’m excited to share this story with you.

Journey To Acceptance

I was diagnosed when I was five years old. And the diagnosis was retinitis pigmentosa (RP). And basically what that means is I progressively lose my peripheral vision over time, so it closes in like this. And I’m also completely blind at night. So I have no ability to see what’s going on in the dark, see what’s going on. If there’s any sort of dimly lit areas, it can be really hard for me to find things. And when I say it’s like looking through a straw, I mean, like a tiny, tiny straw. So I can’t see what’s going around on around me, I can’t see what’s going on below me. And that is why I use a cane every single day of my life.

I absolutely love using the cane, actually, I feel kind of naked without it. And it allows me to just navigate the world without having to worry about what’s below my feet. Or if I’m going to run into something or if I’m going to bump something or that someone is, you know, not going to be paying attention and I’m not going to be paying attention, we smack into each other. And that used to happen all the time for me.

Aspiring Legally Blind Baseball Player

I had more vision when I was younger and it’s progressively closed in over time. So when I was in high school, I played baseball, I played baseball at a high school level. And I also, was very active. I was always outside, I was always doing things, and I still am to this day, but it’s different.

And at that time, I thought I was going to be the first ever completely legally blind or visually impaired baseball player. That didn’t happen. Because when I hit the ground ball would hit me in the chest and fall on the ground in front of me, I had no idea what to do. I had no idea where it was. And I also had so many challenges. Just like being in a competitive athletic environment, with feeling the pressure of knowing that people were relying on me, teammates were relying on me and I couldn’t rely on my eyes.

So I actually had to give up baseball, and I decided to start playing golf. And throughout my journey, that was really the only piece of acceptance that I had that I accepted—I couldn’t play baseball anymore. That was it.

Hiding Blindness & Lessons Learned

A profile shot of Charlie standing with his hands in his pockets.

Other than that, I really hid my blindness with everything that I could possibly do. Because just like so many of us, I didn’t want to be the blind guy. I didn’t want to be the person who was treated differently or gets got preferential treatment because of their blindness. Right?

I didn’t want that I wanted to be treated like every other human being. But what I was doing is I was limiting myself because I wasn’t allowing myself to be the full embodied version of who I actually am. To be in ownership of my blindness. And when we don’t own all of who we are, life can get lonely and challenging and hard. And that’s what it was for me.

I finally made a decision with supportive a few friends to start using a blind cane every single day of my life. And what it did is it made what was an invisible disability, a visible one. It made something that no one could see, visible. And it absolutely changed my life. Because not only was the world seeing me for who I actually was, I was seeing me for who I actually was. And that had never happened before for me. So I went on this complete transformational journey.

Finding Purpose Through Acceptance

Another frontal shot of Charlie looking intently into the camera while his hands

I’ve been doing work in music for a very, very long time and I still do quite a lot within music. I love it. But I just started to realize that there was something else that the world was wanting from me, needing from me. I decided to start moving into coaching and helping people through their disability.

Helping people through their challenges with all of the skill sets that I’d learned over time. And I studied, I worked on it, I’ve developed the skills and now I’m working with people one on one who not only have blinding retinal diseases or blindness as their disability; but I work with Deaf clients, I work with people who are in a wheelchair, total spectrum, people who are autistic, it is a total total spectrum of different people. And I love it.

Because we all share the same little fear of what is it going to be like if we actually share all of who we are? Is it going to be painful? Is it going to be hard? Are we going to be accepted? I help people understand that the more that you embrace the fullness and the power of who you are, the more life gets frickin awesome.

  • And I help navigate through how to advocate for yourself,
  • how to create really powerful, strong, healthy boundaries,
  • how to properly communicate with people about your disability,
  • and how to navigate through some of the most challenging situations that we face as disabled people.

And I can’t tell you how amazing and how fulfilling it is to do this work because I’m helping people to go through a process that took me 24 years, in eight weeks. 24 years or eight weeks? I wish I had someone who grabbed me by the shirt and said, “Charlie, I’m going to take you through this process in eight weeks.”

So now my life is devoted to helping people through that process. And I have to say it is an absolute joy, to see the results of my clients, taking that next step in their life and really creating that abundant joy. It is so delicious. So good.

So that’s a little bit about me. I’m just grateful that Bold Blind Beauty is sharing these incredible stories of so many of the other Men In Motion and I’m just very, very honored to be one of them. So sending you all my love.

Please stay in contact with me. I’d love to connect with you whether it’s on Instagram, my website, anything like that it just Charlie Kramer Vision and send you all the love in the world. And remember that the more that you embrace and show who you are, the more beautiful life becomes. Peace.

Connecting With Charlie:

Connecting With Bold Blind Beauty

Image Descriptions:

  • Header and Beyond Sight Magazine Cover contain the same black and white photo of Charlie an attractive white man standing confidently with his white cane. He is wearing a black tee shirt with black jeans while resting both of his hands on the top of his cane. Text on the cover reads “Beyond Sight January 2022 | Men In Motion | Charlie Kramer.”
  • YouTube Thumbnail & Video Description: A black and white photo of Charlie in a button-up shirt open at the neck is on the thumbnail. He is wearing eyeglasses and smiling broadly with a neatly shaven beard and mustache. In the video, he’s wearing a light denim shirt and his hair is reddish/brown.
  • A black and white waist shot photo of Charlie wearing a white shirt and smiling while holding his white cane out in front of him.
  • A profile shot of Charlie standing with his hands in his pockets.
  • Another frontal shot of Charlie looking intently into the camera while his hands rest on top of his white cane.

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