Hearing loss blogger Ashley McGoey shares her experiences playing sports in the summer while growing up. From soccer, to swimming, to a gymnastics meet where Ashley didn’t realize music was playing for her floor routine, Ashley describes her love for sports and how she didn’t let her hearing loss hold her back.

Summertime is an awesome time to be outdoors. Whether you’re swimming at the local pool, playing sports, or just watching, there is no feeling like being outside enjoying the sunshine. I grew up with gymnastics as my main sport so generally I didn’t have wicked tan lines or get caught in the rain during the summer. However, I did dabble in other sports throughout my childhood, particularly softball, soccer, and a little bit of track and field. Luckily I didn’t have to tape my hearing aids to my head since I wasn’t going upside down like in gymnastics, but outdoor sports and activities brought with them a whole new set of challenges with my hearing aids.

My favorite summer activity is swimming and it always has been. As you may know, hearing aids and water don’t mix. I once went to a pool party with my gymnastics teammates and one of them playfully pushed me into the water. I was laughing and having fun and then I remembered I still had my hearing aids in! I scrambled out of the pool to take them out and crossed my fingers that they weren’t broken. Fortunately for me, they weren’t submerged in the water for too long and somehow dried out okay. My audiologist would have been exasperated with me (especially since this was after she reprimanded me for getting hairspray in my hearing aids) and my parents would not have been happy so I thank my lucky stars I didn’t cause water damage to my hearing aids. With that being said, be proactive and protect your hearing aids from water so you don’t find yourself in a situation like that!

It can be tough to have a hearing loss and play sports. Sometimes it’s hard to hear your coach, the refs, or your teammates. There was a time my coach gave me a correction and inadvertently walked away from her because I didn’t hear her. Another time I was at a gymnastics competition getting ready to compete on the floor exercise. I saluted to the judges, got in my starting pose, and waited for my music to begin. I waited and waited, and I never heard it. Turns out, the music was playing, but I didn’t hear it. Thankfully, the judges let me start over, but I was kind of embarrassed. At the end of the competition, I won on floor with the highest score so it all worked out! 

girl performing gymnastics floor routine
girl performing her gymnastics floor routine

In soccer, I didn’t have to deal with hearing my music, but I did have to deal with the wind blowing. When I got my new hearing aids in 2009, I was super excited that they were in-the-ear instead of behind-the-ear. However, they didn’t do well with the wind. If I was ever doing anything outside while the wind was blowing, that was all I could hear. It was a little problematic for soccer, track, or any outdoor sport! The wind was a problem, but trying to play a sport with dead hearing aid batteries would be a nightmare. With hearOclub providing batteries every other month, you’d never have to worry about it again. You can also keep batteries in the keychain they provide as well, for easy transportation to and from sports event.

Sports were the best part of my childhood, and they really taught me the meaning of hard work. They taught me how to be a teammate, believe in myself, and get stronger every day. Having a hearing loss was not easy, and being an athlete with a hearing loss was no better, but it never slowed me down. I truly believe that it only made me work harder!

Check out Ashley’s blog: https://canyouhearmenow.home.blog/

Learn more about hearOclub, the hearing aid battery subscription service here: https://www.hearoclub.com/how-it-works/