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The Hardest Thing I have Ever Done

It is quiet.  The air is still. I hear a soft pounding in my chest and my feet on the asphalt.  My heart reminds me of the task at hand: kee...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

It's Okay To Inspire

Me: I guess I inspire some people.
Dave: That's good.
Me: It's weird.
Dave: It's not weird.  It's wonderful.  You are keeping yourself healthy and fighting back.
Me: Well, I guess the thing is, I would rather just go out there and be any other runner and not have M.S., than be an inspiration.
Dave: But that's not the case.

This morning I ran the Ridgeline Trail with my good friend Stephanie.  She and I are training to run a trail half in November called The Happy Girl Trail Run, in Sisters, Oregon.  It is mostly downhill and so we are back in the woods, gathering our miles.

As we ran this morning, I was telling Stephanie about Joe's group last Sunday.  I had started about 15 minutes before everyone else because I didn't want the water volunteers to have to wait at the end for my slow finish.  One of the coolest things about being on a team is the camaraderie and support.  Many of my teammates know that I have M.S.  They are very encouraging and supportive. And this was certainly the case last Sunday during my 10 mile run with them.  Lots of high-fives and "Way to go, Rhonda"s.  It really lifted me up.

Another thing that has lifted me up lately is the newest stem cell research for M.S. treatment.  It seems that they are now able to extract stem cells from ones own bone marrow and use it to encourage regrowth of mylin.  Crazy, right??!?!  Here's a brief article that explains it to the laymen:


See, I feel like it has been a long time since we have cured anything.  Am I the only one who notices this. 

Then, just yesterday I received a call from my Dad who has been fighting his own battles with chronic disease.  Guess what?!  He is cured.  Cured.  Not just extending treatment and trying new things and ...blah, blah, blah.  Cured.  No sign of disease.  I was so happy and so awestruck and so...well, grateful!  My dad has inspired me, so why not let people be inspired by what I am trying to accomplish.  I mean, if I have to have M.S., at least there is hope on the horizon.  At least I have the luxury of training for another run, and another.

Yes, please bring on the high-fives and "Way to go, Rhonda"s.  See, I believe we are beating this thing together.  And I do believe we are beating it.

By the way, I ran about 7.3 miles this morning, and as Stephanie says, that puts us in a slim percentage group for our overall population (M.S., or not!)

Here is a picture of me before I was diagnosed with M.S., fall of 2004.  I had just ran my first 5K with the help of my dear friend, Johnny (now gone to the big trail run in the sky).  Johnny told me that the first and the last miles are always the hardest--not the best thing to contemplate on your first 3 mile distance.  He really pulled me in that day, as he has done in my spirit many times since.  He has been my inspiration on many occasions.  See; it's okay to inspire.

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