I was diagnosed with MS in 2010, when I was pregnant with my third child. When Leah was born, I would watch her and wonder if I would be able to do all that I did with her older siblings. And when I was ready to stop wondering, I decided to do something to make it happen. I muck because I want to help propel MS research forward, so that MS will not limit me. And I muck because I can.
In 2014, I participated in my first Muck MS Canada event in Hamilton. I had never done an obstacle course event before, but it seemed different and challenging: so much more “me” than other charity events. My husband Larry was incredibly supportive, and joined my team right away. I convinced our friends Anthony and Naomi to join us too, although I’m sure they both thought I was slightly crazy.
As donations from friends and family rolled in, I realized that I was really going to have to do this. I was so nervous the night before the event! I lay awake thinking about the obstacles that would be insurmountable, and worried that my left leg would give out on me. I had trained, I was ready, but I worried about the unpredictability of my body when I challenged it.
But the next day, the energy and camaraderie at the event were outstanding. I saw strangers help each other through, over and under obstacles, and teammates that cheered each other on. Adrenaline propelled me through the course, and my heart was ready to burst with pride as I crossed the finish line to applause, and leaned forward to receive my medal. I was proud of what I had accomplished, and grateful that so many people were there, for me and for others, in the fight to end MS. I’m only a little embarrassed to admit I cried.
Now, Muck MS Canada 2015 is around the corner, and I’m getting ready again for the big day (September 26th is only a month away!). I’ve been doing two days a week of cardio conditioning, one day of strength training, practising yoga, and chasing the kids around. I’m asking for donations early. I’ve set aside my tightest workout gear (it collects less muck) and I’m breaking in my shoes. I think I might even order team knee socks…
I am so excited to muck this year, and I’m proud to be raising both MS awareness, and funds to support MS research. And this year, I will know that the obstacles awaiting me on the course – like the challenges of MS – won’t defeat me.