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Take that MS

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  • Take that MS

    I just wanted to take a moment to share a little accomplishment that, six months ago, I didn't think would happen. Today I tested for and obtained my blue belt in Okinawan Kenpo.

    Now, some of you know that I've been training in martial arts for 20 years and have a black belt in another style. I even fought for many years on the circuit. I was sure-footed and had beautiful kicks. I had come back from many injuries including a shattered wrist. (When I broke my wrist I even showed up in the studio with external pins in my arm and my arm strapped to my chest ready to train. Yeah, they sent me home.) So, when I was diagnosed almost a year and a half ago, I was like "no prob" still gonna train.

    It wasn't until about eight months ago when the extent of the damage done by my initial attack (delayed somewhat in showing it's true colors) combined with a relapse last summer completely knocked the wind out of those plans. I still went to the studio, but everything became so much more difficult. I became increasingly unsteady, unbalanced. I could no longer kick with my right leg and the left leg kicks are anything but pretty. My right arm, though not as bad as my right leg really is not completely under my control when I punch.

    I was so distraught I almost quit something that was a big part of my life. I even remember breaking down one time in the studio and saying it'd be easier if the Fates just took my leg in one fell swoop than slowly taking away my use in bits and pieces. I am so glad my training partners, some of whom I've known for 20 years, not only refused to let me quit but kept encouraging me.

    It took me a long time to get to the point where I stopped focusing so much on what I could no longer do and started focusing on what I could still do. I might never get in the ring and fight again or land a beautiful kick upside someone's head, but I am slowly getting more proficient at my ground work (grappling) seeing as that's where I'm going to end up rather quickly should I ever need to use my martial arts. I'm not going to say I never get frustrated, because I do. I just refuse to ever let it get to the point where I want to quit something I love again.

    I'm writing this post not to brag on what I've accomplished but to hopefully encourage anyone reading this to never let MS take something you love to do away from you. You might not do it as well or the same way you once did, but you can still take joy in doing it.

    So take that MS -- I win this round.

    be well,
    Last edited by AZgal; 02-22-2014, 10:30 PM.

  • #2
    Beautiful, AZgal. Just beautiful! Love this:
    It took me a long time to get to the point where I stopped focusing so much on what I could no longer do and started focusing on what I could still do.


    • #3
      Great post, AZgal. Wonderful message that bears repeating. That said, you may also like my blog post along the same lines—on patience and focusing on what you can do.

      Congrats on the blue belt! And take that, MS!
      Dave Bexfield


      • #4
        Congratulations on the belt and overcoming MS.


        • #5
          "Beautiful" really sums up your story....I was cheering you as I read Dora the fish put it in "Finding Nemo".... "Just keep swimming...."

          Your doing it!! Hooray for you AZGal
          Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.


          • #6
            Take that MS - Connected, encouraged and grateful.

            I have to say thank you for being here. I may never meet any of you, but your words are a presence and great comfort that mean a lot to me.

            I have experienced a wide range of emotions since being diagnosed with MS. I went through a good 8-12 months of panic, dismay and fear. I felt very alone and tried to explain what I was experiencing to the people around me. My openness left me with mixed results. My family was sympathetic and concerned. My friends were confused and worried.

            I found and attended a support group in my community, which unfortunately left me feeling even more frightened. At the time the only attendees were very disabled and very unhappy people and I was certain I did not belong there. I didn't go back for a long time. Instead I joined Activemser's. I was inspired and happy to have found people who were or had been active, and focused on fitness. There have been times, when MS symptoms were getting the better of me, that I felt discouraged by the success of other's fitness adventures. But that went away when I began to appreciate how fortunate I am to have the inspiration.

            I eventually went back to the support group, because all in all the attendees are people just like me. They are understanding of the challenges of living with MS and we laugh together often about those challenges. I have also given close attention to managing my mental health. Anxiety and fear can be more crippling than MS.


            My Two Numb Feet - An MS Diary


            • #7
              There's nothing better than a great story of battling MS and winning. Even small wins are better than big set backs. And it's so hard to stay focused on what we can still do rather than mourn what we've lost to MS.

              I'm a glass half full kinda gal and so happy to read uplifting stuff like this. Yay you!
              Patient-to-patient education about clinical trials.


              • #8
                Congratulations, AZ gal. I'm in complete agreement. For me, I feel it's all about adapting what we love to do and keep trying. There's a marvelous song by Jimmy Cliff "You Can Get It If You Really Want". It's my theme song. I find it especially helpful when the going is tough.

                Take good care,

                Teena Marie


                • #9
                  You've always been an inspiration AZgal. Love your attitude and congrats on the blue belt.