Time to rise, shine & set your soul on fire! Have a fab weekend bloggers!
Had a lovely morning today with a spot of hot sweaty Pilates! Might seem odd to some but that statement makes me feel so proud, being able to push myself to exercise in the heat & humidity without any air conditioning!
For anyone that isn’t familiar with heat/humidity & the effects on MSrs: It can & does (for me) bring on all of my MS symptoms I have experienced to date, normally tenfold!
Im feeling especially proud of myself tonight for doing the best yoga yet and on a day when I have had the worst pain!
I had to change the time of my normal private 1-1 yoga lesson from midday to early evening, this being a particularly difficult time of the day for me because of my MS!
I totally smashed it though!
I’d like to say that it’s like there are no boundaries, but they are still there, my balance still tests me. Good job I manage to take control of my body before it hits the floor!
I know I’m getting better and stronger! I just need to ‘Let go’ completely, have faith and trust myself!
I love this journey!
Who am I?
I’m Vicky Edwards and MS has changed my life, oddly and yet profoundly for the better.
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2010, I was shocked and yet relieved to understand what had been happening to me for such a long while.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system.
In MS, the coating around nerve fibres (called myelin) is damaged, causing a range of symptoms.
More than 100,000 people in the UK have MS. Symptoms usually start in your 20s and 30s and it affects almost three times as many women as men.
Once diagnosed, MS stays with you for life, but treatments and specialists can help you to manage the condition and its symptoms.
The cause is unknown and a cure is yet to be found, but research is progressing fast.
A love for fundraising
2011 saw the start of my love for fundraising. Of all the things to do, walking over fire seemed the most appealing for my first fundraiser! I told myself if I could do that then I could be stronger than my MS! That event celebrated my 1st anniversary of my MS diagnosis.
I decided from then on I would do my best to raise money for different MS charities. This then started a chain reaction. For many of the charity events a certain level of physical and mental fitness would be needed, not just for myself but for my friends as well, I would most certainly need their help. Different charity events call for different support from my friends, whether it be pushing me in my wheelchair for 5k, running the 5k, organising fun day events which would guarantee someone having to go in the stocks, or even running a marathon!
Last year myself and a friend decided it was time to attend ‘Slimming World’ the dieting group. Whilst at the same time I continued with my gym referral from the previous year and one by one the rest of my friends started to join the same gym!
Slimming World is where we first met Sharon and a friendship started to blossom. It was only a couple of months later that I realised she also went to the same gym as we all did! At this time I had started to organise another charity event and Sharon stood out to me as someone who would enjoy the challenge of the 5k Color Run. I asked and she accepted.
The Color Run
I managed to get a good number of people together and organised the group with the help of my friends!
I told everyone that for this event I didn’t mind how people participated as long as they had fun! We even came up with a name for us ‘bam4msuk’ (By Any Means for MS-UK as that was the charity I had chosen to fundraise for)
I was so happy with the group of friends & really pleased that Sharon had agreed to do it – bearing in mind that this was a lady that didn’t even know the rest of the group! A lady that had recently found her love for running, this is why it was such a surprise to me when she said she wanted to walk with the group that was helping with the wheelchair! She was determined to give as much support as was possible and she didn’t disappoint!
That was then, this is now!
I had a message from Sharon a few weeks ago:
“Hi Vix, want to run an idea past you. Been really proud of all your fitness sessions against your issues. I’m running my first marathon in October in York. Would it be ok if I ran for MS on your behalf? I think you have an amazing amount of strength and willpower and love you to bits! Thought you could borrow these legs ‘virtually’ and we could try to do some good between us? What do you think?”
I felt so honoured! I totally loved the idea! How wonderful!
We arranged to meet up so we could discuss it further, we spoke about the most important thing first… which charity Sharon would be fundraising for. She left that decision for me to make as I know the charities better than she does.
I decided it would be good to raise funds for MS-UK again, I decided this as they are a charity that not only helps me the most, but I think they are the best charity at raising awareness for Multiple Sclerosis.
What Sharon has to say
Here is what Sharon has to say about why she started running, and why she wants to do this Marathon for an MS charity:
“I started running after losing 3 1/2 stone hitting target with slimming world. Had money to join the gym then and my sister-in-law shared a link for a 5k mud run in Carlisle in May 2015. I asked if she was running it and she asked if I wanted to join her? That was it, gauntlet down and challenge accepted! Up to this point I had been in the gym only, using the treadmill and weight machines to improve my poor level of fitness. With this mud run I was going to actually have to get outside for a start, to run but also make sure my overall fitness level could get me through the running, mud, water, fire, heights and climbing over/ under and through things!
Anyway I totally enjoyed this and from then on I started to go out more running and switched to Gym classes (body pump, cx, combat and balance). I also included swimming once a week for a good low impact activity. The running increased gradually over time, gym classes once a week (but 3 of them), swimming once a week and still maintaining my weight with slimming world.
I have definitely caught the running bug!
2015 was my first year of running and I have gone from being unable to run further than 100 yards without being out of breath to getting round 15 miles while talking with my running buddies.
Having met Vix through Slimming World and at the gym, I have seen how much she enjoys her activities and battles through her MS barriers.
It was watching her do this while still smiling that it struck me, my already booked first marathon should be done with her in mind – everything that she battles through daily should be my inspiration to get me through my first ever 26.2 miles.
My original plan had been to attempt a marathon before my 45th birthday (2017) to prove to myself that I could do it – so I shall be completing it to prove to myself that I can and for Vix to show her how much of an inspiration she truly is”
‘Year of the Bear’
This year MS-UK have been promoting the ‘Year of the Bear’ Myles the MS-UK Mascot
I was asked at the beginning of the year if I would take part in it, of course I said yes! A few days later I received my ‘Myles’ the MS-UK mascot and it was time to start taking him with me everywhere I went to capture selfies of him with different people, in different places, doing different things!
I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to continue this campaign with Sharon and her marathon. So like the good sport she is, Sharon will be carrying ‘Myles’ around with her whilst she trains and of course on the big day.
Follow Sharon and Myles
You can follow Sharon and Myles whilst they are training in a number of ways;
by using #MarathonMyles4MSUK or follow them on the Facebook page Bam4ms
It’s a rare thing to happen but Sharon has literally left me speechless about this!
I am still processing it all!
Overwhelmed would be the best word to use to describe how I am feeling!
So I think the best thing for me to do now is say “Sharon you are a complete star” wish her luck and to thank her from the bottom of my heart for doing this!
Next for me to do is let you all know how you can contribute and show Sharon the incredible support that is needed!
I have set up a Just Giving page where you will find it easy to sponsor Sharon & Myles as they take on this epic challenge! Just follow the link for an easy step by step walk through of how to donate!
A lovely relaxing day!
I’ve had Deb at home as it’s Monday, her day off. The Only class I didn’t attend was the MS exercise class. Like I said in yesterday’s blog, even though it’s all seated exercise it would still be too much for me to do!
Because Deb was home that was a good distraction for me to not keep checking the time, although I did have a few cheeky time checks. No comments on facebook about it either, I can’t help but think I wasn’t missed. Silly of me right! I just don’t like to miss out on anything! Right or wrong, that’s who I am!
We had some visitors this afternoon, another good distraction from the pain!
My Dad and Stepmum popped round with their 2 sight hounds, Ava the Saluki & Finly the Lurcher.
They have only had Finly for 6 weeks so him and ours are still getting to know each other. All fun and games! A great distraction from the pain I’m still getting in my legs and spine when I’m standing.
A boring hour and half whilst Deb and Adam went off to Fight Klub! I’m not a happy bunny, I’ve got my new boxing gloves and can’t try them out! Humph!
I have to be prepared for my mood tomorrow! I’ll be missing Pilates with Hannah Bailey and then Body Combat in the evening with Gill Cathcart!
What on earth did I used to do before exercise took over my/our life!
I know I wasn’t as happy when I didn’t go to the gym or all these classes!
Think about this,
If we all just did a little bit more to look after ourselves would we be living in a happier world?
The third day of recovery after having my back procedure. It’s Sunday, the first day of our weekend. The day that our alarm clocks are redundant, I do love my sleep! It also means that because I’m not on my own my mood is good even though my pain is bad!
I did have to cancel a class today, we don’t normally go to exercise classes on a Sunday but Deb and I had decided we would try a different class, one that we had both wanted to do for a while called ‘Body Pump’ A weight-based group-fitness program created and distributed globally by Les Mills International.
I was really disappointed that I had to cancel but there was really no way that I could do it! I didn’t think there would be any chance I would be able do the class after having my back done!
I didn’t stay disappointed for too long after I cancelled the class yesterday, the reason for this was because Deb told me she would also cancel as it would be better if we did our first class together!
We didn’t stay in mopping! I’d been given a HMV gift card for my birthday and I knew exactly what I wanted to get. I told Deb that I wanted to go and get the film called ‘Lady in the Van’
I was so excited to be going out, I know it was only 2 days, 3 if you include the day of the procedure. I felt as though I had been stuck inside for too long, I mean I’m normally out every day even If just for a short time like visiting my GP to renew my medication!
I updated my social media status to something like:
“Breaking news!… I’m going out! The Vixter has left the Manor! (Fear not sofa, I will return!)”
This was short lived though and soon updated to:
“I’ve returned! I forgot that I could only stand for about 5 minutes yesterday! The pain is horrendous when I’m walking and standing! Better off staying on the sofa a little longer me thinks!”
It’s so easy for me to forget the things I can and can’t do, especially when my pain is just about bearable when I’m sitting in one place! I’d forgotten the awful pain in my thighs when I walk, the pain shooting down the backs of my legs emanating from my butt and finishing at my feet. I’d forgotten how every step was more and more painful and I’d even forgotten how I would need help lifting my legs in and out of the car! Even if I had used my wheelchair I would have still been in too much pain getting in and out of the car and also whilst in the wheelchair because of twisting to look at different things.
Still, all this said, I managed to get my dvd and we watched it tonight. A lovely film, very different to what you might expect but still a good film.
My trip out today has made me realise one thing for sure, I definitely won’t be able to attend the MS exercise class that I normally go to and being covered by Hannah Bailey. It’s scheduled for tomorrow (Monday). Even though it’s seated exercise it’s far too much for me to handle yet!
This also means that I won’t be going to Monday evenings Fight Klub! This isn’t good news! One of my favourite classes! I’m going to have to try extremely hard to stay positive tomorrow because of this! Wish me luck!
It’s hard to remember the days when I first had to take time off work because of my MS. I have come such a long way from that person that used to sit feeling sorry for herself, not doing anything to change the way she felt, just feeling more and more depressed!
Those days are real, they did exist, I was that person! So easily I could become her again! This procedure I have had done on my lower spine is to help ease my pain I feel, to gain this relief I have to endure a multitude of pains. The physical pain which comes in so many different ways, from moving incorrectly to even just standing. Then there is the emotional pain, some of this pain I feel may be hard for you to understand. Although you can’t see the physical pain itself, you can in fact see the physical effect of it in my face, in my eyes. The emotional pain will at times be so much easier to know when I feel it, you see I suffer from terrible mood swings. Almost like a teenager unable to get their own way, when I can’t do something that I have been used to doing its painful!
It was an easier day than I expect yesterday! The first day of recovery, unable to take part in my usual Pilates class at 11am. Even though I missed it, I was ok with it, that made me feel proud. The rest of the day I slept on and off.
The evening wasn’t too bad either. Deb came home from work, she sorted the dinner, homemade spaghetti bolognase that I had lifted out of the freezer and some pasta to go with. This made it easier for me as I wasn’t able to stand for more than a few minutes and therefore unable to cook the evening meal.
The exercise class I couldn’t attend last night was ‘Clubbercise’ I have only been to this class twice and, if I’m honest it’s a bit fast for me with a lot of side ways moving, which I have a major issue with. The class has also changed rooms, it used to be in an area that had direct access to outside, which was ideal for me to cool down quickly. The class is now in the ‘Dance studio’ the same room that I do Pilates in. Excellent because it has air-conditioning which means I keep cooler whilst exercising, the downside is that when I walk out of the room the temperature difference is too extreme for me, especially if my core temperature is high from cardio exercises.
This is a constraint of my MS, I can’t adjust to differences in temperature like my partner does. I can’t cool down quick enough when needed and vice versa, I don’t warm up quick enough! For these reasons I am apprehensive about going to Clubbercise again and didn’t mind that I couldn’t go!
A harder day today, missed out on a class called ‘PiYo’ a mix of Pilates and Yoga. A class that I wanted to try from the moment I heard about it and also a class that I was very nervous about trying! When my friend told me he had been to a class a few weeks ago, I was really sad that I hadn’t gone with him. He came around to my home to tell me all about the class and how hard it was, when he told me he thought it would be to hard for me, I booked in for the next available class straight away.
I wasn’t well enough to go to the class last week because of my MS. It hadn’t occurred to me then that I wouldn’t be able to go today, but I have to be good especially after all the work I had done on Thursday.
After my first PiYo class I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I practised some of the harder moves that I could remember, until I could no longer remember the easier option that the instructor ‘Hannah Bailey’ had showed me. That’s the thing with my MS, I forget things easily and quickly!
I was so looking forward to going again! I guess I just have to wait a little bit longer. Hopefully I’ll be so much better and stronger when I go to my second class!
Saturday evenings are my favourite! As much as I love going to all the exercise classes with Deb and our friends, I do miss the us time that we rarely get now. Saturday evening there aren’t any classes so we get to chill together snuggled on the sofa with our 2 dogs ‘our kids’
As far as pain goes and how my back is after the procedure, today I can stand for a little longer, around five minutes. Enough time to wash half of the pots in the bowl, the pain was starting to increase by then so I had to sit down and rest.
Baby steps! I’ll soon be fighting fit again!