All the words sound normal coming out of me, but I realize I must have mumbled when the person says “I’m sorry?” or “Pardon?” I sometimes have to repeat myself three or four times, each time hearing the words right when I speak them, but apparently they are not coming out right. Sometimes they sound garbled to me coming out of my mouth. I just have to start again and speak slowly and the words come out eventually.
I’ve also had reoccurring trouble with my vision. Mornings are most difficult for me. My vision is blurry. I clean my glasses hoping that will help, but it never does. There’s also the fatigue that comes on me with no warning, the muscle spasms caused by the MS and the Cerebral Palsy.
But you know what? All that is trivial.
I’m often told that I’m an inspiration to others for my strength. I know I’m strong, but the MS has forced me to be stronger, to reach further, to take that extra step when I don’t feel like I can. It’s forced me to fight against my body and, nine times out of ten, to win.
I know that a lot of that strength comes from how I was raised, that my mother would never let me quit or give up, despite how much I wanted to. It’s that strength that shapes my will to live. To experience every moment, to live as much as I can to the fullest and embrace every opportunity that comes my way.
On April 27th of this year, I took part in the MS Walk. Last year, I walked the 3KM walk and by the end of it, I was done. I couldn’t walk any further and was wobbly on my legs. I was spent and was weak for the week after the walk.
This year was a complete difference. I walked with my mum, my partner and my friends. I wanted to go further this year, so we elected to walk the 5KM walk. I was a little worried about waling 5KM all at once, but made a deal with everyone walking with me. If I couldn’t feel I could do all 5KM, we would turn off at the 3KM mark and finish off the walk.
However, this year was different. I’ve been doing my workout three times a week, I’m stronger in mind, body and spirit than I was last year. When we reached the 3KM mark, I wondered why it had seemed like such a big, impossible thing to do last year. I walked on.
I had finished the 3KM walk in just under an hour. The 5KM walk took us an hour and a half. I wouldn’t have been able to do this two years ago. Don’t worry though, I’m not going to take on the 10KM run. That would be madness. I’m just thrilled that I was able to do what I thought would be impossible.
As much as I inspire others, I draw inspiration from myself when I can do things I didn’t think possible and from other people that inspire me. I’m blessed with a lot of people who love me and they are proof positive that love can indeed move mountains. I’m going to keep walking, keep living, for as long as I possibly can.