What is this definition of running hurdles?
It is running past and over the barriers of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a physically disabling disease.
Running over the hurdles, the hills and down the valleys.
Yes, and I do run.
I was athletic prior to my MS diagnosis. Running was a passion. I am happy to say it still is!
MS attacked my legs first. Sometimes I believe it takes what is nearest and dearest to your heart.
It had left me near unable to walk a couple times the first two years. Each of those times I questioned if I would continue to walk much less run. My legs surprised me I have to say. I have learned since not to give up confidence in them too quickly. I have been, for the most part, steadily running the last few years. I even made some ten-mile runs for a while. While at the same time I managed to increase my speed. I was as amazed as I am assuming you are.
I thought I lost running forever more than once. I am fortunate I’ve been able to keep this passion in my life. It has taken some creativity to say the least. Learning new tricks is what I call it. Learning new techniques and yes a lot of determination.
Is it harder? Yes. But then so many things are now. Walking is harder still. Believe that one? I never believed or claimed it made much sense. But I blame this one on my body. Really why blame myself?
I can’t neglect to mention I also had a passion for weight training prior to my diagnosis. That began about the same time as the running passion. I continue to do that too. I find it very useful in keeping my body moving. Muscle strength being so important this only added to my compulsion and drive to continue after my diagnosis.
Is that harder? The same answer, yes.
Running harder, weight training harder so why continue? This exercise not only helps me keep my legs and body strong and moving, it also helps manage my nerve pain, fatigue, and the sporadic weakness my legs are renowned for. And most importantly it keeps me from stopping. I am not referring to just athletics stopping but every other part of life that people move in. Those things in life, so simple to do, yet now can be so hard, and keep those things one enjoys. In my case this happens to include running and weight training.
The running and the weight training go through their waves. Sometimes easier other times not so much. Sometimes it goes downhill and I am or feel as I am starting over again. It is part of the MS game. And oh the game it is.
I see it as adapting and adapting again or “stop, start, and repeat”. You get accustomed and yet you never do.
My ultimate goal is to spread the benefits of exercise in managing this disease. I would love to share my experience and the knowledge I have gained in these last six years.
If you have MS I warmly invite you to check out my postings. If you know someone who has it, please pass this warm invitation onto them. I welcome questions, and I hope I can offer some information, tricks, and techniques I have used. Or even make up some new ones.
Together we can keep up our determination and motivation to exercise. Keep our bodies stronger and moving. Help each other keep running along.