I’m enjoying the Olympics.
I’m also thinking, ‘you think that’s hard, try juggling The Teenager, Work, Studying and MS. Pah.’
Honestly though, I’m not really so mean-spirited, but I do sometimes think I put in an Olympic performance most days. We all do, don’t we?
If MS could be an Olympic sport, it would surely be the hurdles; you’d be standing there looking at a sea of impossible things to get over safely and with dignity intact.
Sadly, that’s not always the case; I would probably stumble flat on my face at the first hurdle, lie there for a while staring at the sky, humming gently to myself and let everyone else overtake me. A bit like life really.
Mind you, I think my performance could be vastly improved if I had access to an Olympic network of nutritionists, physios and mind-training-coaches. Plus a little bit of sponsorship wouldn’t hurt either – I would quite happily wear a discreet logo (or even a huge one) if it meant I had a few grand in the bank.
It’s interesting listening to the competitors speaking to the news broadcasters straight after their performances, especially when they lose – ‘I gave it my all, but there wasn’t anything else I could do really. I gave it 110%.’ How true. I need to bear this in mind when I come up short to my own expectations – I’ve passed many a day beating myself up for not doing this, not doing that. Or as an Olympian would say, ‘I had nothing else to give.’ Yes. So us peeps with MS are actually strangely similar to world-class athletes?
When MS strikes, things you take for granted become hurdles, things you can see you just have to get over. There’s no other way. Weird stuff like formulating a sentence when you’re shattered or trying to navigate a staircase when your balance is shot (me last night). Or attempting to pour boiling water into a cup without first-degree burns.
MS requires tremendous mental strength. We may not be physically able to do what others take for granted, but boy, do we have tenacity in bucketloads. It gets us through the day.
Therefore, I think everyone with MS and other chronic illnesses should give themselves a huge pat on the back. When the Olympic rings are packed away and the last firework goes off in the Closing Ceremony, don’t forget, we’re still here, trucking along, facing each day with fortitude.
And if we don’t come up to our benchmark ‘good day with MS’, well, ‘we gave it our all.‘