Saturday, March 24, 2012

Canyonlands Half Marathon

Just showing up to run a Half Marathon!
Left to Right: Laura, Melanie, Diana, Tiffany, Janice.
Last week (March 11 through18, 2012) was Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Week. To close out MS Awareness Week out I decided to help those that know me by making them more aware that MS isn't an instant or definite disability. To show MS that I've got my fight on, I ran the Canyonlands Half Marathon on March 17th. 

Even if I couldn't have run that, I would have done something ... anything to defy the odds of my current circumstance. Even though I had my fight on, I was nervous. And for some darn reason, I was even doubtful. This doubt downright ticked me off. 

It was interesting to show up for something like that and just go with the flow. I trained, I registered, so I was going to do it and do it to the best of my ability. Then came the wind... good night! 

Average winds during the race were twenty-two to thirty-five miles per hour - the entire way. The winds didn't have the courtesy of blowing at my back either. I wanted so badly to stay with the 2two hour, twenty-minute race pacer, who just happened to be my cousin. 

However, this day wasn't the day for that kind of running. I was able to stay with that pacing group for about five or six miles, though. It was unsafe for me to keep that pace. 

The wind and I were fighting and in order for me to feel good about the run and keep all my faculties together; I had to slow it down and run my own race. 

I even speed walked collectively about three miles. Oh! I can't forget to praise the makers of Imodium and  Pepto-Bismol chewable tablets! Thanks to them, I was able to keep my inner workings from further complicating things like they did for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon

When I got to the last quarter mile I did what I always do in finishing races, I gave it all I had to cross the finish. Every muscle protested with each step, but I crossed with all my energy reserve. 

At the finish was my totally awesome husband waiting for me and all I could do was hug him and cry a bit. His arms have felt like a refuge many times over our married life, but at that moment I felt saved. I love you Josh!

So with this being a tribute to pretty much say "F-You Multiple Sclerosis", I would like to raise awareness and point you to a full description about MS, which can be found at this website

However, please note that MS affects each person differentlyJust because you knew someone with a horrible MS experience DOES NOT mean your experience (or mine) will be the same. So please, stop telling horror stories to people who are newly diagnosed. 

Also, comparison, bitterness and fear are only a fast track to absolutely nowhere. Not everyone with MS can walk, but by no means does this mean you are doomed either. 

What I am saying is more universal: that we must accept the ailment, so that we can move beyond it. Treat the disease with the options you have available and then live to the best of your current ability - which may vary over time. It's just like I mentioned above, "...I had to run my own race." 

Do yourself and everyone around you a huge favor and refuse to live life based on the unpredictability of disease. I'm not saying that everything will be happy, I'm simply saying find ways to accommodate your needs and l-i-v-e. 

It is what it is and you can always live your life to the best of your current ability. This ability is determined by your attitude. 

I feel a burden to be constantly on the lookout for ways to accommodate my current abilities, so that I feel able-minded. Yes, be aware of MS (or whatever disease affects someone close to you), and be aware of the various states of the disease: extreme, abnormal, and mild forms. 

Not only that, but become aware of what people are doing even though they have a disease.  You may not be able to do exactly the same things as others, but you should be able to see that pretty much the only thing stopping you is yourself. 

The National Ability Center is a prime example of what can be done, when you believe or have someone believe in you.

1 comment:

  1. Yes! That is so great! and really sweet what you said about your husband :)