Rediscovering My Passion for Running Helped Me Regain Control of My MS
Sunlight flooded my bedroom. My tired eyes slowly pulled apart. Realization set in: It was Saturday. Yes! I love Saturdays.
As I got out of bed and glanced outside my window, a crazy thought crossed my mind.
“I’m going running.”
I hadn’t run in a while, and I still felt numb and tingly after a recent MS exacerbation. Would I be able to do it?
My flare-up was driving me crazy and getting me down. It had caused me to lose confidence in myself and stop doing things I love, like drawing. On Saturday, I took back control for the first time in a long time, and I felt powerful.
I didn’t know if I would remember how to run, or how well I would run with the numbness, but I was willing to give it a shot.
I pulled on my workout gear and dug out my ancient trainers. The shoes still had mud on them from the 10K I did in 2019.
With a deep breath, I opened the door. Here we go. Let’s do this.
Running felt strange at first. My legs forgot how the movement felt. I stumbled and tripped a couple times, but I didn’t let it stop me.
I ran. It felt magical. I felt free. I was winning the war with my body at last. The wind rushed through my hair as the birds delicately sang from the trees.
I didn’t go far, only about a half-mile around the block. I just needed to know it was still possible.
Back home, I sat exhausted in my conservatory with a cup of tea, and as I scrolled through my phone, something caught my attention — a memory post.
It was a video of me declaring I was going to start running, which I made so people could hold me accountable. It was on that day two years ago I had decided to run!
“This is what I need to do,” I thought. Being out in the fresh air felt incredible.
My husband and I have been going on walks recently to get out of the house, but nothing compares to the feeling one gets while running.
Reading the story Cheryl Hile shared for MS News Today‘s “31 Days of MS” initiative, which took place in March to raise awareness about MS, reminded me why I started running. Hile, who has MS, has run over 50 marathons, including one on every continent.
After reminding myself of her accomplishments this week, I felt encouraged again. I never thought I’d be a runner, which wasn’t a hobby I’d planned on.
But I needed a goal to keep me going. So, I found an April running challenge online. It requires me to track my runs on a GPS tracker and send the data to the company. If I reach my goal, they will send me a medal!
As I write this, it is April 1, and I had my first run of the month today. Unfortunately, I forgot to put the tracker on, so it didn’t count. Oops!
It feels so good to regain control of my MS, especially after my recent exacerbation, which seemed to take so much from me.
Have you discovered an unexpected hobby? Please let me know in the comments below.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.