In case anyone was wondering, this blog hasn’t simply turned into a conduit for the YEG MS podcast. I still intend to write as before, but the summer has been busy and learning how to produce a podcast was a bit of a learning curve. I was asked the question twice over the summer about why I write the blog, run the Really Long Run, and now do the podcast. The answer would appear to be simple; I do these things because I am a person living with multiple sclerosis. I have come to realize that this answer is wrong and the blog, podcast, and run are a result of an underlying motivator. It may surprise you, but the motivator isn’t multiple sclerosis.
The motivator is that I really don’t like being told I can’t do something.
I am rarely moved by quotes. While I may find reading the words of someone else profound, I’m not the type to have the quote on a t-shirt, poster, or tattooed on my arm. I say rarely, because the quote in the picture above has been resonating with me for the last several months. What resonates with me most is the word “crazy.” I’ve touched on it before on this blog and in a recent podcast with regards to my own mental health. I was diagnosed a few years ago with both anxiety and bi-polar disorder. Are they a result of my MS? Are they in anyway related? I can’t say. What I can say is that they are part of who I am and that, with help from my loving wife, I have learned to manage them. The reason that I make mention of the diagnosis is to demonstrate that I am a certified crazy person. Crazy enough that I have no time for the limits that other people put on themselves or try to place on me. For me, limits are for other people and people try and to enforce those limits on you when they say, “you can’t do that.”
The reason why they try to impose limits on you is comfort. If they don’t believe something is possible and you go an do it anyway, what do they have to admit to themselves about their own belief system?
When I was first diagnosed with MS in May of 2007, I didn’t like that all I was told to do by my former doctor was take medication. I was never consulted on lifestyle modification, diet, or exercise. A summary would be, “take two of these and don’t call me in the morning as there is nothing we can do for you.” I was angered for so many reasons, but that was one of the primary ones. Life looked pretty bleak until I decided to take control of my own path. I began to do research and found some compelling information which suggested diet could be a factor. I started exercising and the training for a marathon. Along the way there were doubters, but I forged ahead convinced I could still do anything I wanted. I’m still convinced. Doubts are for other people, not me.
The result of this mindset lead to running three half marathons and riding in three MS Bike tours. Running and cycling lead to an ultra marathon in the form of the Really Long Run to End MS which has lead to a budding annual event. The mindset also lead to starting this blog on April 13th, 2013 which lead to the YEG Podcast which was launched on July 23rd, 2015. However, the prime motivator remains that I don’t accept the reality that others try to force upon me. I refuse to simply be a sick person, take my meds, and fade into the background. I demand to live a full life, MS or not.
Whether you have MS or not, consider the next time someone tells you, “that’s impossible,” or, “you’ll never be able to do that.” Ask yourself, “am I going to shackle myself with the belief system of someone else or do something great I believe I can do?”. As long as what you are thinking doesn’t break the known laws of physics, why wouldn’t you be able to do whatever with proper planning? It is all up to what you believe, not someone else.
Over six hundred words to answer the one word question of “why?” The answers for why people do anything are rarely simple and straightforward. Maybe they are; I do what I do because I’m a giant pain in the ass.
Until next time,