When I purchased my ticket, I didn’t know about The MS Walk. When I found out about it from my friend Jayne, I immediately wanted to do it. So I signed up as a team captain, made a pledge and started a journey.
I thought I would be walking alone. I just wanted to see if I could do it. I hoped to raise the minimum amount of pledges ($125) and barely be able to walk the shortest walk of 3k. That didn’t matter to me, I just wanted to see if I could do it. The thought of walking that far terrified me.
At that time, I had only been walking without my cane for less than a month. I really didn’t know if I could walk for three kilometres. I didn’t know how far that was, had no way to measure it. I started having a fear of the unknown: Whether my body would choose while I was walking to be uncooperative, of the fatigue would kick in.
In the end, I knew I would do the Walk no matter what happened and that whatever would come would come. Instead of giving into fear, I did what I could to get ready. I started taking twice daily walks with people at work. We would walk around a street or two at first, but then we would start walking around whole blocks, the walks taking up the whole fifteen minutes.
For the past two months, I’ve been walking whenever possible. I’ve been pushing myself little by little to walk more. Last week, I even took the stairs instead of the elevator at work. That would have been unthinkable last year. Heck, it was only a few months ago that I had my hellish experience going down all those stairs in the fire drill.
I had even started adding up the amount of distance walked to and from work and on our break time works. The highest was 6.5k, but that was all though out a day. I didn’t know if I could do 3k at once.
As the Walk approached, It was pointed out to me that the Cher concert was the night before the Walk. I knew there was no way that I could do both. I talk a lot on here about knowing my boundaries, my bodies limits, what it can do and what it can handle.
The concert would go until 2AM in the morning and then I had to get home. That would leave me physically unable to do the Walk the next day. That I had to make a decision. I decided to sell my Cher ticket; The MS Walk meant more to me.
I had a whole team of friends, family and co-workers that had signed up to be part of my team called The Wolf Pack. I had come so far in getting better; and I really wanted to prove something to myself.
I’m sure Cher and Cyndi were fabulous, but doing the MS Walk meant so much more to me. There’s just something about the experience that filled me with such pride. I wanted to prove to myself that I was strong enough to do it.
I have a few mantras that I repeat a lot lately, to myself and others. One of them is “You are stronger than you think you are.” I know I have certainly proved this to myself already. Despite the trials of last year, I’ve survived them and come through them a better person.
The first kilometre went; I couldn’t believe I had actually reached it. The second kilometre seemed to go on forever. I had to take a short breather, just a minute or two, then kept on going. The third kilometre was like the first. It seemed to end in no time. As I neared the end, with the finish line in sight, I was filled with a joy so bright, I had experienced it before.
I passed the finish line in 59 minutes and 37 seconds and together The Wolf Pack had raised $595 to help end MS. I did something I never though I could do and came through it in one piece with people who are my family, friends, co-workers. We all shared a moment that we will always remember.
Being able to do the MS Walk this year did prove that I was stronger than I thought I was. It filed me with more light than any concert from Cher would have (sorry Cher!) and that is awesome.