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MSers in Training 2020

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  • MSers in Training 2020

    Happy New Years all! I get inspiration and motivation to keep going from all your updates! Larry, TM, Veronica, and the rest I love love love your details of living fully with MS. It really is a mindset. But it is worth the effort. I’ve been working more on strengthening inner strength recently, with more mindfulness, gratitude, and meditation. I share with you a link to a yoga video series for MS.

    Enjoy! And have a healthy and happy coming year! xxx suebee

  • #2
    Happy 2020 to all!

    Training continues, even during the holiday. My biggest present was getting back in the pool. December 26 is the best because the pool is essentially empty. I work with an aquatic therapist who helps me get in and out. Even though there is a chair to get you in and out, it is ancient and too high. My feet don't touch the ground. 6 months without swimming certainly takes it's toll but it feels great. I also hit the gym for the handcycle which is coming along slowly. I aim to get my heartrate high enough to be considered cardiovascular but this will take some time. Worked with a trainer today and stood holding on to the fence in front of me for over 6 minutes. Felt amazing. We are working a lot on postural muscles. I need more core so that, like you, Veronica, I can rollover in bed!

    Love the ski goals, Veronica, bike goals, Larry, yoga Suebee and everyone

    Gentle winter so far, here in Montreal.

    Take care all,

    Teena Marie else
    Last edited by teena marie; 01-07-2020, 01:49 PM. Reason: forgot an item


    • #3
      Happy New Year

      Happy New Year all and a happy new decade!

      Thanks for the Yoga video Suebee. I can genuinely appreciate the mindfulness approach to many things we do, from social interaction to exercise to relaxation it really does seem to make a difference. My biggest problem is not using it often enough. Glad your with us.

      And Teena Marie, happy to see you got what you wanted for Christmas - back in the pool. You have always been and continue to be a tremendous inspiration to me and I'm sure many others.

      Veronica, you wear me out! You don't just participate do you, you take the extra step and get involved, nice work on the skiing. I'm going to get involved in a focus group for our own sports disability center soon. If anything comes of it I'll let you know. And rowing for core, the MSers nemesis, makes a lot of sense. Going to have to give that a try.

      Nothing new here, in fact I'm getting bored with my routines. Still hitting the weight machines regularly and with good results, I am as strong as I have been in the last few years. I can beat the sideways eliptical machine although not every time. It shuts off after 30 minutes but sometimes I can do 30 minutes and a couple of extra seconds! And keeping up with my core exercises and yoga. My core is also as good as it's been in the last few years which isn't really saying much. I would love to get it stronger if I could.

      Unlike Dave down there in sunny New Mexico, there's been no bike riding around here recently. We got a pretty good snow a couple of weeks ago and it has only just now mostly melted off of the roads and trails, however we're supposed to get another one tomorrow. But I know it's coming, the good weather that is, I can feel it in the air!

      Hang in there everybody, we're off to another start,

      Last edited by AMFADVENTURES; 01-08-2020, 04:27 PM.


      • #4
        Happy New Year everyone!

        My New Years resolution was to get back into yoga, found a studio that offers Kripalu style of yoga which is a gentle style with a lot of focus on breathing, perfect for MS, Hot yoga and flow styles don't work for me. First class was great. I am also taking swim lessons and really enjoying that.

        A frosty -30celsius here today, so counting down to spring already so I can get back out on the bike horse and kayak.

        Starting to daydream about plans for summer. Local MS Bike tour is in late August, and I am thinking that will be the only "big" goal for the year.

        Karen in Winterpeg
        Last edited by cl3me; 01-08-2020, 04:29 PM.
        Callenge life before life challenges you - from inside collar of my "Bike Off More Than You Chew" bike jersey


        • #5
          Happy 2020 everyone!

          I kinda fell off the face of the internet earth here but I want to get into the swing of things.

          The bad: I never quite got back to 100% after my 7/20/18 hip surgery and spent over a year chasing compensation issues on my opposite side. I eventually had an MRI and it wasnt just a compensation issue. So I had another hip surgery (repairs and not replacements, harder recovery, boo) on 11/20/19.

          The good: I got off of crutches in 4 weeks as opposed to 9 weeks on the opposite side. I had wanted to ditch then since week 2 but the surgeon wanted 4 minimum. Overall this recovery has gone better in every way, so I am really hopeful about my longer term prospects.

          The Meh: My bikeMS ride will happen about 7 months post op (rather than 11 months last time) and having the experience of being there and not riding or riding a much shorter distance then in the past...I wont do it again. Especially since that ride require a weekend stay and all the expense that goes with that. So - its yet to be seen whether I will be there or not. The closer to me ride is very hilly and along the bike trail across from my house, so not to good for a trike rider. Not sure what I will do

          The Near Term Goals - I am up to walking and riding 15 minutes, and even back on my own bike, this time next month I'd love those limits will increase to 30 minutes!


          • #6
            Back in the Saddle

            I love this time of year!

            Got out for the first ride of the year this week. Went around my favorite piece of urban country side, the reservoir a couple of miles from my house. The sun was out and although it was only about 50 degrees, it was quite comfortable. But the BIG reason I loved it so much was because everyone out on the roads and trails was soooo friendly! The runners smiled, waved and said hey to the bikes, all of the bikers waved to all of the other bikers, even the old folks out on the trail behind the old folks home smiled and said hi, well, all except that one old lady.

            I rode a little less than 25 miles, didn't hammer anything, just enjoyed the day. So much in fact that I went out the next day too and had the same experience. I love this time of year.

            It has begun again,
            Have fun out there,


            • #7
              Wow, Marina, sounds like you are pretty tough, determined and strong. Celebrate your successes.

              Larry and Veronica , thank you for your responses. Also, Larry, winter riding sounds amazing. Here in Montreal it is mild so plenty of cyclists.

              Training is great with increased strength and stamina. TODAY I STOOD USING MY BELOVED SIDESTIX CRUTCHES!

              Take care all,

              Teena Marie


              • #8
                So exciting to see everyone getting into the swing of 2020! I've been busy on the fitness front and have managed to get on my bike 9 times so far this month (with four days to go) despite snow, rain and generally chilly weather. I've been avoiding the gym because a) the flu activity in NM and b) the gym in January is usually super busy.

                And way to go TM, AMF, Marina, Karen, and SueBee!
                Dave Bexfield


                • #9
                  So, I participated in the Can Do MS event at Loon Mountain, New Hampshire this weekend. The event, Ski for MS, was a combination of vertical challenge, fun ski race, and opportunities for MSers to try out ski equipment, or in my case, to ski a new mountain with an adaptive instructor working with me.

                  What a hoot it was! The vertical challenge was really out of my league, and I wanted to work with the coaches on bumping up my abilities, so I also opted not to participate in the race. Did that during my 4 tracking years, and really enjoyed it, but wanted/needed some concentrated time for training.

                  Well... my coach, Peter, was probably one of the top 3 instructors that I have ever worked with. He trained me on all intermediate runs that were freaking me out by tethering me ( just for speed control) which gave me confidence I wouldn’t plow into a tree or do a straight run down the slope if I lost control...and he called out my turns for me. The same way a visually impaired skier is guided down the hill. I just did what he said to need for me to figure it out. All he said on a run was “Turn...hold..hold...hold ( as I traversed the hill). turn...hold.hold...turn.....” and on and on. As I gained some confidence and he saw I was edging well, he made the turns quicker. “turn..h o l d ..Turn....”. It kept me from over analyzing my turns, and taught me how to judge my terrain as I was moving thru it. And I trusted him, and just wasn’t very nervous at all, as I knew he was well skilled in this.

                  It was just so much fun! We were a good team, and he was so close behind me that I really felt we were in this together. I did those challenging blue trails quite well, if I do say so myself! Yes, I had a moment or two, when I picked up more speed than I wanted to, and scared the heck out of myself, but he reminded me to lean into my turn more, and that got things back under control. When I called out that I needed a break, it was to let the adrenaline rush calm down! So thrilling!

                  So that was the ski event of Ski for MS, and then we headed inside for the awards party..... great group of skiers of all abilities, and just a happy time. And my thrill for that part of the event, was that I got to spend some time with Tyler Hamilton, as he has gotten himself very involved in Can Do MS, which I am sure several of you know. Well, I am such a Tour de France geek, that I HAD to chat with him, and get my photo with him. After we had a fun chat, and we had the photo taken side by side, I told him I needed to give him a kiss, did so on his cheek ( camera clicking) and then he turned and gave me a big smooch right on the lips ( of course, camera still clicking!). Such goofy fun! I ended the evening totally exhausted but so satisfied with my skiing.... and lip locking with Tyler .... (wink, wink)

                  Now, the next day my friend and her family and I went on to a neighboring mountain, Bretton Woods. My friend is also an MSer, and uses a sitski. She introduced me to Bretton last year, and we all love the wide, well groomed trails and the adaptive program there.

                  Well, my instructor for the day, Hans, had been volunteering in the adaptive program for 20 years and really knew the ski bike, but also how to get me more confident in my abilities.

                  I told him I was worked hard the day before and just wanted a fun day of all greens...some easy peasy runs. He didn’t need to call my turns, but did so when we had to work on headwalls (drop down short steep sections usually at the start or end of a trail) of some new beginner trails. In the afternoon we ended up on more new trails when one of the lifts we wanted to take was closed and we had to improvise.

                  Of course, Nervous Nellie here constantly was asking what color the trail was and he kept telling me there were no worries, “ALL the trails over here are green ( beginner..).”

                  So I did them, thinking they were a little more challenging, but never did I think anything else. Well.... we got back at the end of the day and he chuckled when he told me he LIED to me...they were all intermediate (blue) trails.... I got up from the bench and gave HIM a big kiss and hug, and told him I was SO GLAD he didn’t tell me out there.

                  So I can proudly say I am now a solid intermediate level skier. Never would have gotten here without my ski bike, and these phenomenal volunteer adaptive instructors....

                  So now, apart from all this riotous fun, I learned how much I need to continue working on my core as my right turns suffer from my ride side weakness. It makes getting my weight over the outside of the ski really challenging, and this is where I will feel fatigue creeping in first. Gonna give it my all with the rowing and some other core exercises and see what happens... stay tuned!
                  Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.


                  • #10
                    TM, great news on getting those sidestix going again! All my best vibes on continued recovery! And Marina, didn't know you were going through those problems with your hips. Hope you're getting on top of that too!

                    Karen, how's the yoga?

                    Dave and Veronica, I am soooo jealous! I've been out on the bike 4 times since the start of the year, granted I didn't take advantage of every possibility but I did do as much as I realistically could. However, the 4 times I did get out far exceeded my expectations. I also got up ski biking once. The equipment rental was free BUT, they gave me one of the old awkward and somewhat heavy K2 bike's, the boots cramped my toes, the binding on one ski was misadjusted so that the ski pointed outward, and I had some kind of gut problem, probably food induced from the night before. I didn't discover any of those things until we had already gone as far up the lifts as we could go and still stay on the green slopes. It was a long trip down and the only run I got in that day. I might have to go up again though just to prove to myself that the previous experience was a one off and that I really can do better - and because I have a free pass.

                    I participated in a focus group for the NSCD (National Sports Center for the Disabled). An interesting exercise comprised of both caregivers and disabled participants geared toward rebranding the NSCD. There's no doubt their brand might be a little outdated, apparently they've been around for 50 years, a fresh coat of paint couldn't hurt. I hope we helped them.

                    Other than that I've just been up to the same old same old. Lifting weights every 3 to 4 days, doing my stretching and core routine, and still hitting the yoga class on a regular basis. This particular week is dedicated to snow shoveling and cooking. I've been out shoveling once already and will be after it again tomorrow, and making a pot of beef chili between storms seemed a fitting enterprise considering the bitter cold we're currently experiencing. And of course I had to make some bread to go along with the chili. Things just seem to have a way of escalating, don't they? Interestingly, the 10" of snow we got back in early December never completely melted!

                    Off to get a beer now, could be my last chance for a day or two.

                    Keep it up all,


                    • #11
                      Winter weather is rolling into New Mexico, so I jumped on my handcycle for three consecutive days. First day I cranked, second day I did ok, and yesterday was more of a spin. Today is definitely a leg day!

                      What do I do leg-wise since I spend much of my time in a wheelchair? Some squats and calf raises to start (or train on my walker) while my legs are fresh, then a series of exercises on my chair, then I move down to the floor to work stuff I couldn't easily work seated, then I wrap up with stretching. And then I help Laura cook!

                      Love seeing the progress of others. Newbies, don't be shy!
                      Dave Bexfield


                      • #12
                        I have a few weeks of Kripalu yoga under my belt and it is working great, I have noticed that the tightness in my left calf and hip flexors is better afterwards, such that the walk to the bus after is noticeably less stiff than the walk to class...and haven't had any mid sleep wake up to a charlie horse cramp in the middle of the night for some weeks, and no hobbling around when I first wake up. This means I can avoid drugs, neuro was ready with a script for baclofen but we decided to see if I could get it under control this way. Yoga and swimming is doing the trick for me. Last year I was doing lots of treadmill work, trying to progress on a couch to 5k walk/run program, and in hindsight it may have been contributing? Either way I am much happier this winter.

                        My weekly adult swim lessons go until March 10th, have to decide if I am going to do another session or try public lap swimming on my own...

                        Looking forward to spring. MS Bike tour in August, and also looking at a kayak event in September "Red River Paddle Challenge" a 45km paddle along the Red River all the way through the city of Winnipeg. Gives me all summer to build up fitness for a big endurance event....and the weather is cooler in september so I don't have to worry about the heat...gotta love a challenge!

                        Karen in ~Winterpeg
                        Callenge life before life challenges you - from inside collar of my "Bike Off More Than You Chew" bike jersey


                        • #13
                          Snow Weary or Enough of This Snowmagedan Already

                          Hey Karen, glad you're enjoying yoga. I find that during periods when for one reason or another, I'm not exercising much, yoga is always my way back. And if I don't do it for even a couple of weeks I really notice how much stiffer I am.

                          I hear you about the winter weather Dave. I've shoveled snow 7 out of the last 14 days. Snow shoveling has become my primary form of exercise and there's a storm moving in tonight that is expected to stick around for a while!!! Still hitting yoga on the days it doesn't snow and managing to get some stretching in once in a while.

                          Looking forward to warmer and drier days,



                          • #14
                            15 Seconds of Fame

                            Well, February was sure a bust! I got out on the bike a grand total of once. We had something on the order of 9 snow storms covering 16 of the 29 days in February. I shoveled snow 11 times! No bike, not even any getting to the gym. I did manage to get to yoga and do my stretching occasionally but I'm facing a restart now.

                            I got out the other day, after recovering from a bout of the local version of the corona virus (a head and chest cold), just to see if my lungs and legs were still working. They were and things are beginning to look up around here. We're expecting mid to upper 50's today so I'll have to get out there soon, and the future is even brighter!

                            On a side note, I was one of eight people interviewed for a piece about Living Strong with MS in Health Central. Of course it had to do with my cycling. A series of very short perspectives from active MSers living life strong, an inspirational read in case you're interested
                            Credit Lambeth Hochwald (@lambethhochwald)
                            And thanks to Dave Bexfield for the referral.

                            Keeping on keeping on even when it means a restart,


                            • #15
                              Wow, Larry!!! Inspirational read and fantastic photo. Well deserved. And all that shoveling sounds like a rather intense workout. No doubt it will be useful bike training.

                              Training continues well. My YMCA is around the corner. The gym is surrounded by windows and bathed in sunlight. Such a wonderful workout space. I go 5 x per week. I'm working with 3 different professionals who come from different backgrounds that complement each other. I've incorporated some resistance training with weights and pulleys. Standing straighter and better able to push my pelvis forward. The various core exercises have contributed to this positive change. No pool for now. I may just wait until the outdoor season starts.

                              The days are longer and the sun is higher in the sky. Nice to be heading in that direction.

                              Take care all,

                              Teena Marie