When you overcome the fear of limitation, you can achieve the unimaginable!
Just last Friday, during my Orange Theory workout, I had a terrible time on the treadmill. My leg gave out, to the point where I could barely keep a walking pace while holding onto the rails. I was beyond upset, sad, and full of shame. 😳🤦♀️ I might address all of that some other time, but right now I'm full of gratitude for what my body allows me to do.
Over the weekend, I was upset about not being able to run my favorite half-marathon. I broke down and cried, (and threw a tantrum) wishing I could at least run my "normal" 6 miles a day. Then I went and did it!
My husband had been telling me I could, but I just didn't think it was possible. I had to change my mind from "I can't," to "What if I can?" Today, I was only planning to go for a short run, but I felt so great during my 5k that I knew I had to go for more! Miles 4-6 were rough, if you can't tell by the pace, and there was lots of walking involved, but who cares! I ran two 10ks within days of each other. 😱
My achilles tendinitis is flaring a bit. This will sound crazy, but it has been months, and it feels so GOOD to have running-related aches and pains.
I know the cooler weather helped today, and I'm so thankful. Looking forward to many more happy autumn runs.🏃♀️❤😁 #runnersofig#yesyoucan#dontquit#keepmoving#runlikeagirl#runnerswillrun#didyouruntoday#therunningchronicles#falliscoming 🍁 #fallrunning#september#runnershigh#runningmakesmehappy#endurance#endorphinsjunkie#invisibleillness#runwithms#msrunner#msawareness#thisisms#thankfulthursday
“'One of the most important things to someone with a #ChronicIllness is to be treated as an equal. Having #MS does not make me any different than someone who does not.' This was something I used to tell myself every single day since my diagnosis—it got me through the hard times & inspired me to live my highest quality of life. But as I get older and the 4 year anniversary of my diagnosis approaches, I find myself questioning if this is really the case.
While I want to believe that my MS does not make me different than anyone else, the reality is, I am different. On days where my symptoms are particularly trying, I’m reminded that I’m living with a condition that is completely out of my control—it just happened. Sometimes I need to use a cane because my legs are weak, or I can’t drive because my eyes can barely focus.
I am absolutely different; but being different is not necessarily bad.
I strive to empower those like me to step out of their comfort zone and push themselves to their limits to achieve amazing things. But I also want to emphasize that there will be days where things seem nearly impossible because of your limitations…and that’s okay.
It’s okay to take a step back when times are a struggle; it’s okay to rest when needed, in fact, it’s necessary. So, while we may want to feel like we aren’t any different than those who don’t have MS—we are. And that’s perfectly fine!
There is a fine line between wanting to be treated as an equal, & the need for people to understand when I’m having a hard day. I never want someone to look at me when I’m experiencing more noticeable symptoms & say, 'What’s wrong with you?' I also crave understanding when I truly can’t do something simple—say, like unscrew the top of my water bottle.
In the end, the best thing the rest of the world can do for us who live with MS is to just understand.
Understand that I was running half marathons last week and can barely move my legs today.
Understand that I work just as hard as you do and do not want any special privileges just because I am 'sick.' Understand that I am just like you, but the frosting on my cupcake was piped just a little bit awkwardly."
Today, for the first time in the last 8 years, I did not run the Philadelphia Rock and Roll half-marathon. I thought I was ok with it. Then, this morning Facebook memories brought up pictures of past races, and I just completely lost it! Running is such a touchy subject for me right now, and though I'm still doing it -to some extent- anything over a mile is a struggle.
The second picture is a side to side comparison of my current situation and what used to be my "normal". On my good days, I can run about a mile to a mile and half before my leg(s) goes completely numb. I can usually walk it out for a bit and then continue, but sometimes I have to stop and rest before I can keep going. Even so, anything over that first mile becomes a dangerous game: I have to concentrate to make sure I'm lifting my legs, or I'll fall flat on my face.
Sometimes my body just loses coordination and I start looking like a baby giraffe learning to walk.
For someone who was used to running 5-6 miles every day, cutting back has been really rough, both physically and emotionally.
I've been told that my MS is mild, and though I'm grateful that my eyes, and physical/cognitive functions remain unaffected, I'd really love to regain control of my legs.
My neurologist advised me to hang up my sneakers and start swimming. Sure, it would make things easier for me, because the amount of effort it takes me to run a 5k is ridiculous! But I don't want to quit.
The last picture is my run today. After my little breakdown, I laced up and ran my first 10k this year! I wasn't even sure I'd make it, but somehow my legs, numb as they were, finished the job.
Some days, I wonder why I keep trying, but those 6 miles today are exactly why. If running has taught me anything, it's that you don't stop when things get hard - that is when you push harder! Not sure I can ever run 13.1 again, but I'm not ruling it out. #Dontquit
Finally getting my booty moving! Had to enjoy this Beautiful morning the best way I know how! Without children and running sneakers on my feet! 🤪 🏃🏻♀️ 👦🏼👦🏼
The last 6 years at this time I would typically be running 20 miles in preparation for a fall marathon. This has become ‘normal’.
This year presented itself with a whole other set of challenges and marathon training was not even on the radar.
I’ve had months of self- discovery and finding a way to live my truth and my best life.
I’ve changed jobs, drive to work instead of dealing with the hustle & bustle, my thighs are thicker and I’m embracing the curly hair life! 🤣
I spend more quality time with my family 👨👩👦👦and i stay connected to my tribe of women who lift me up daily! 💗
Life is multi-dimensional and we must embrace all its facets- the good, the bad and the ugly!
Cheers to my 4 mile run this morning... my me time, I had time to meditate and I pushed myself harder with each mile.
God is good all the time and all the time God is good! Have a blessed weekend and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses!
One of the things we love about #MSCareConnect App is the ability to track your relapses. It also captures the duration, intensity and residual effects. This can be beneficial for you and for your doctor to review. #featurefriday ⠀⠀⠀
Take a moment to grab it and play around via iTunes (link in bio) or Google Play.
Anyone going to this this weekend?#Repost @mssociety
This weekend, Challenge Walk MS: Cape Cod brings together some of the most dedicated family members and friends to walk 50 miles in 3 days to bring us closer to a cure for #MS . This special Challenge Walk “family” vows to put one foot in front of the other on behalf of those who can’t…until they can. #challengewalkMS
I avoided the sun and heat all day, and waited to go for my run at night. But just after the first mile, I couldn't figure out why I was struggling so much. I couldn't finish my 5k, so I came home. I'm drenched, and I just left a big puddle where I was stretching. My left leg is completely numb. 😡😡 But wait...why didn't I check the temperature before going out? I assumed dark = cool. Duh. Well, this explains everything. 😱😱😱😱 Just a few weeks ago, I had a flare up, and I could barely keep a 12 minute pace! So, this run, as hard as it was, makes me incredibly happy. 😁😁😁🏃♀️🏃♀️ #September#runlikeagirl#dontquit#nightrun#msawareness#msrunner#invisibleillnes#yesyoucan#runningchronicles#runnersofig#goawaysummer
#MSCareConnect app has a fun and engaging tool, with games and exercises, that help monitor your physical and mental functioning. #featurefriday ⠀⠀⠀
Download our app via iTunes (#linkinbio ) or Google Play today!
I woke up this morning not feeling so great, so I decided to defer my long run to tomorrow. In the meantime, I went to @rei to exchange my new @ospreypacks 15L running backpack for a smaller size. I can't wait to use it Monday to run commute home from work!! Then I engaged in shameless consumerism and impulse bought a few things 😜 ! First, a @patagonia mesh hat! I've been eyeing this line of theirs for a year, and finally found one that fit my little head without a huge gap between the top of the hat and my scalp! Yay! And I love bears, they're so rad. Definitely my favorite design (although the fish logo is pretty cool, too). Then, I got my @brooksrunning Juno sports bra -- like 30% off -- which is the only sports bra that works for my, uhm, ampler-ish chest size. It's their highest impact sports bra and when I started using them 4 years ago it was a game changer... Before I had to use TWO sports bras! 🤣 And finally, a Buff headband. I've been looking for one that's not super wide, because I only want to use it as a headband -- I'm over the thin tight headbands that mess up my bangs during my lunch break runs! And it's a cool design too ☺️ I did not buy the jacket in the last picture... So I showed some restraint. But I'm seriously considering it... Thoughts?
Happy labor day weekend!
I was able to make it in to OTF 3x this week, which hasn't happened in a while. I've also been able to do things that I haven't been able to do in a long time, like running at 8minute pace and single leg deadlifts! Today, for the first time in forever, I was able to come home and go for a run after my workout, which used to be the norm for me until about last October. (Even during #Hellweek .) I'm feeling stronger than I have in weeks, and this in no small part thanks to my awesome studio at @otf_willowgrove . The staff is amazing, and so are the coaches. A big shout-out to @adam_avraham_otf, who's hands down one of the most supportive, encouraging, and positive beings ever. He knows just when to push me to lift heavier, even when the little voice in my head is saying: "I'm too weak, I can't." But then I can, and it turns out he's right. When my body begins to shortcircuit on the treadmill, (thanks, MS 😤) and I start running like either Frankestein or Jack Sparrow, (depending on the day) he will let me know it's ok to slow down, way before my stubbornness will allow me to do so on my own. I'm pretty sure he has prevented me from faceplanting at least a few times! 😉
Both Adam and Matt give everyone in class individual attention. Always! I'm just so grateful for them and my #fitfam . These few months, since being diagnosed with MS, have been a little rough...and I honestly don't know where I would be without them. 🙇♀️🙇♀️🙌😭 #ILoveOTF#contest#orangezone orangezone #splatpoints#keepburning#dontquit#strengthtraining#endurance#hiitworkout#strength#trainlikeagirl#crosstraining#August#grateful#invisibleillnes#butyoudontlooksick#msawareness#msrunner#runwithms
Love these principles. #Repost @mssociety
There are several life lessons Elissa hopes her children learn from her and her journey with #MultipleSclerosis : “Practice Compassion: There’s the familiar saying that everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. This is definitely true for someone with an invisible illness. I hope my kids recognize this in me and in others, and choose kindness and compassion. Always.
Don’t Wait: Nobody knows what’s going to happen tomorrow, but uncertainty is especially prevalent for someone with #MS . Since my diagnosis I’ve tried not to wait for ‘someday’—I want to go after my dreams now…I want to teach my kids to do the same—to follow their dreams and go after all that life has to offer.
Courage and Resiliency: In the face of that uncertainty, I also hope that I can teach them to face each new day with courage. And when new challenges come, I hope that I can show strength and resiliency so that my kids can learn to get back up after they fall.
Laugh When You Can: Sometimes on tough days, it seems like there’s nothing to smile about. When I’m feeling fatigued, when the heat is getting to me, when the future seems bleak, laughter can be hard to come by. But I want to show my kids that life might be hard, but it is also beautiful. Finding that beauty—finding a reason to smile, or to laugh when you want to cry—can make all the difference.
Seek Support: You can’t always be strong; I have certainly showed them that. I know they have seen my fear and my frustration. And I think that’s okay. I do want my kids to be confident, independent and capable. But I also want them to recognize that sometimes even confident, independent and capable people need help—and that you should ask for help when you need it.
Unconditional Love: Most of all, I want them to learn that when you love someone, you love them through everything—for better or worse, in sickness and in health. I hope that my husband and I model that for our children, each and every day.
Love is the most important thing, and that’s what I feel most of all when I peek in on them each night. I hope that they always know how deeply they are loved.” Read more @mssociety!
Do you have a hobby that you enjoy? Higher levels of enjoyment of a hobby have been linked to an increased sense of well-being(1) and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.(2)
References: 1. Kuykendall L, Tay L, Ng V. Psychol Bull. 2015;141(2):364-403. 2. Pressman SD, Matthews KA, Cohen S, et al. Psychosom Med. 2009;71(7):725-32.
Phew, run for the day is done ✅ While pushing through the heat & humidity, I was reminded of a story I told myself in my younger days 😊
In my 20’s and diagnosed with MS, I convinced myself that I wasn’t a runner. Until I challenged that, I never even tried. Now I can see that belief was a load of BS!! Rather than looking back and wondering what might have been, I’m choosing to look forward to what I can accomplish.
What stories are you telling yourself that are holding you back from achieving something special?
Trust me, you can crush those beliefs and achieve great things. You’ve got this!! 💪👍🙌 #loverunning#msrunner#dontholdback
#cheeringyouon 🎉🎉🎉// #Repost @mssociety
"I was diagnosed with #MS in 2003. I remember walking out of the doctor’s office, I sat in the parking lot and cried. It wasn’t to long before that I was undergoing brain surgery for a pituitary tumor that was wrapped around my cavernous sinus . It’s been a long road —many emotions and difficult times. But during all my struggles and challenges I never lost faith or hope. We have to stay positive. Don’t let the phrase 'I can’t' enter in your vocabulary. It’s all about staying positive and moving your body. If you can’t change it, embrace it!" ~ @conraywarrior
Easily monitor your daily symptoms using our convenient tool, sending real-time updates directly to your HCP so that you both can stay more informed on their health. #featurefriday ⠀⠀
Download the app today and begin using this and many other features right away. Link is in our bio!