Absolutely! That is why I have decided not to sleep in on a Sunday and go to the gym instead! Because it feels so good to move my body!
Absolutely! That is why I have decided not to sleep in on a Sunday and go to the gym instead! Because it feels so good to move my body!
MS has changed my life, oddly and yet profoundly for the better.
When I was first 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. Once i started to come to terms with my diagnosis in 2011 I felt ready to start fundraising. Around the 1st anniversary of my diagnosis, I decided that I wanted to raise money for the MS Trust, the wonderful charity that has helped me during my diagnosis & whom continue to help me every day with my MS.
Of all the things to do walking over fire seemed the most appealing! I told myself that if I could do that then I could cope with & be stronger than my MS!
It was one evening last year, when I was with a group of friends that an event called The Color Run was mentioned. One of my friends searched for it on the internet, just from the pictures that I saw, instantly I wanted to participate in such a fun event. The trouble was it was a 5k run, I can’t walk half a kilometre let alone run 5!
What made it even more appealing was that it was coming to Birmingham! Before I knew it I had emailed the company asking if it was suitable for disabled to take part!
It didn’t take long for the company to email me back but whilst I was waiting I carried on looking at ‘the Color Run’ website.
The Color Run™, also known as the Happiest 5k on the Planet, is a unique colour race that celebrates healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back to the community. Less about your 10-minute-mile and more about having the time of your life, The Color Run is a five-kilometre, un-timed race in which thousands of participants are doused from head to toe in different colours at each kilometre. The fun continues at the finish line with a gigantic “Color Festival,” using more coloured powder to create happiness and lasting memories, not to mention millions of vivid colour combinations. Trust us, this is the best post-5k party on the planet! With only two rules, the idea is easy to follow:
- Wear white at the starting line
- Finish plastered in colour
Now the single largest event series on the planet, The Color Run is exploding since our debut event in January of 2012, with 1.5+ million runners in 2013 and over 2 million taking part in 2014.
Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be You.
Taken from the Color Run website http://www.thecolorrun.co.uk/
I knew from reading that how much I wanted to do it now & hoped that the course was wheelchair friendly & someone would be happy to push me when I needed it!
Then I read the next part on the website
“Color Runners” vary in demographics and reasons for running. With no winners or official times, The Color Run caters to anyone – 2 year olds to 80 year olds, first time runners to professional athletes. Some Color Runners participate as a celebration and capstone of their healthy living accomplishments, while others participate for reasons unique to them.
It still didn’t say anything about disabled & wheelchairs. I guessed it was pushchair friendly as no one is going to make a 2 year old walk/run 5k! I opened the email & was so excited to read that YES ‘the Color Run’ is wheelchair friendly!
That was it, no stopping me! I updated my facebook status asking if anyone else fancied the challenge! It wasn’t long until I managed to get a team of 10, including myself looking forward to the big day. I decided this time I wanted to raise money & awareness for MS-UK. A wonderful charity dedicated to giving support and information to anyone affected by MS.
I spoke to my Pilates instructor Kate King (standing to the left of me in the picture above) at ‘The Pingles Leisure Centre’ and told her what I wanted to do. My aim was to walk as much of the Color Run as possible, knowing it wouldn’t be much because of the pain & weakness I have in my legs. I thought that if I could work on my ‘Core muscles’ then hopefully that would help with my balance, always a must when walking! I also needed to strengthen my legs! Kate was up for the challenge!
That was it, that was my new challenge! I upped the amount of Pilates classes I attended and started going into the gym more often too. Gradually my friends joined me in the gym as well. It was fantastic, my moods started to get better, I was feeling much more positive about things and I was smiling a lot more!
I set up 3 different ways for people to sponsor us, the online ‘JustGiving’ page, sponsor forms and by text using ‘JustTextGiving’
We decided on a name for our team, BAM4MSUK. It made sense to us, By Any Means for MS-UK! I told everyone in the group that it didn’t matter how they wanted to take part in the event just as long as they had fun, after all this was to celebrate my 5th anniversary of diagnosis, proving that I am stronger than my MS! I knew I would be walking what I could and in my wheelchair for the rest, there were people who wanted to run and also people who wanted to be part of my support team to help push me!
3 of us in the team were ‘MegaSpecials’ *Amazing people who have MS* this made it even more special for me. I realised how incredibly lucky I am to have such wonderful friends!
There were a lot more of my ‘MegaSpecial’ friends that wanted to do it but just couldn’t for one reason or another. I get the feeling that after hearing how much fun we had they’ll be taking part in the next ‘Color Run’ or whatever challenge I decide to arrange.
It was finally here, the day I had been waiting for! All the arrangements were in place for the team to meet. I was going with my closest friend and chief wheelchair pusher ‘Debbie’
My ‘MegaSpecial Sistahh’ Sare had come down from Doncaster, South Yorkshire with her Son Lewis, who wanted to take part in ‘the Color Run’ to celebrate his 16th birthday.
We were meeting my other ‘MegaSpecial girly’ Angie closer to the event location & then everyone else in the team were meeting us there. As long as the ‘MegaSpecials’ were together I was happy!
This was such a big thing for me! There was going to be thousands of people there! Since having MS I have learnt that the anxiety I have suffered, for such a long time is actually part of my MS! I’m not on my own with this, which is why it was so nice to have other ‘MSrs’ around me, we all ‘get’ each other!
All the team arrived and we were all ready! Wilma (my wheelchair, yes I’m one of those people! I like to name things) was all ready with the MS-UK t-shirt attached to the back. Everyone in the team had the official ‘Color Run’ t-shirts on as stated in the rules and we all had paint and glitter on our faces supplied by ‘The Color Run’
We all huddled together and said our bit, this mainly consisted of me screaming with excitement and then we made our way to the start!
There were so many groups of people, like i said before thousands! My heart started to race, I’d never done anything like this before! I remembered my ‘Pilates breathing’ to help calm me and kept telling myself ‘just breath, just breath!’
We started to move again, not for long! Stop, start, stop, start! When would we really be starting? We realised they were letting groups of people go & then waiting. Finally, we were off! 5k here we come!
I started off walking with Angie and a member of the support team Sharon who I stuck to like glue, I was still very nervous even though the crowds of people had dispersed into the distance! Sare was in the wheelchair being pushed by Debbie ahead of us with 2 other members of the support team, Sarah C *AKA Giggler* & her partner Mike. 3 other members of the support team had decided to run ahead, Sare’s son Lewis & another close friend Adam decided to run the course and meet us at the end. Sharon’s son was also with us, because of his age he was only allowed to run to each kilometre marker. He then had to wait for us before he could run ahead again.
We reached the first kilometre marker! The ‘Color Run’ volunteers were so much fun, they kept running up to everyone high fiving us followed by a dousing in color! Yellow, yellow, yellow, everywhere, the smell was awful & it didn’t taste too good either but it was so much fun!
As we made our way around the course we started to acquire more colors, Blue was the second, followed by my favourite: pink & then the final color at the 4th kilometre was orange.
We laughed & threw paint powder all over each other & laughed some more! We shared the wheelchair as & when we needed to being pushed by only one person, Debbie, because she was in the zone! She had been training for this for weeks and wasn’t going to let anyone else take over!
I’d had a conversation with a young girly who I knew was going to the Color Run. I met Jazz (who also has MS) through twitter, we’d spoken about how great it would be if we bumped into each other on the day as we’d been chatting online for such a long time but had never yet met! We also laughed about how it would be virtually impossible to bump into each other as there would be so many people there!
We realised that not long after we started we were soon overtaken by the next wave of runners/walkers and then the next and the next and the next! It wasn’t long until we noticed the ambulance behind us! You know, the ambulance that signifies the end of the race, the last ones! We’d gone from being one of the first groups to start to being the last to finish, in that moment right there I felt an enormous amount of pride!
The last color was in sight! The last hill, the last marker! We were the last group to finish which could only mean one thing to the volunteers, use up all the paint powder they had left and cover the last people to cross!
We did it but it didn’t finish there, we made our way to the final area where the remainder of what looked like a rave had taken place. Once we got to the ‘party zone’ we were given loads of packets of paint powder, this was basically to throw all over ourselves as a group!
We watched the small crowds of groups at the bottom of the hill by the party stage, luckily we could hear them. They started to count down & paint bombed each other with those packets we were given! Wow! At that moment, I had tears in my eyes! That might seem odd to some people but for me it was magical! All that colour, it was like a plume of rainbows!
Our turn! As a group, as a team, the runners had rejoined us. We counted down 3, 2, 1, paint powder everywhere! It wasn’t until I opened mine that I realised I had the best colour ever, pink, my favourite!
Remembering how my vision is and how i have lost contrast, to see all that colour was something that I shall always remember, and if I don’t remember because MS is also interfering with my memory then I have the photos to look through.
With special thanks to
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!
Ok so, I started my fitness kick by going to Aqua Fit!
A brilliant way to exercise if you can’t do much on dry land because the water aids by taking away the stress of gravity!
Once I gained confidence with Aqua Fit and felt the need to go on to something else my Physiotherapist referred me to the gym for a set program.
I loved it! I was going every morning for 5 days a week! After a few months I realised that going all those days without a break in between was a little adventurous! I started going less because I wanted to continue going to Aqua Fit!
I then went on to try Pilates (for the 2nd time, a different type of pilates! 1st time was Pilates for Pregnancy which I didn’t realise until I arrived in the class and so didn’t need it! 😱😂)
As most know I have been going to 3 classes a week for nearly a year now. It would be easy to say that it’s my passion!
Last week I even had my first 1-1 private Pilates at home, it was completely different to a group class because it was tailored especially for me! I even thought it was better than an appointment with my Neuro Physiotherapist! I was that impressed that I booked another 1-1 and i intend to continue with it!
I loved Pilates that much that I stopped going to Aqua Fit and reduced the amount of time in spent in the gym.
At the beginning of this year I started going to another class with my partner called ‘Fight Klub’
“FIGHT KLUB® is the high intensity fun workout that makes getting in shape an addiction. Set to music, the program is a combination of boxing, kick boxing and dance.
FIGHT KLUB® is a workout built around a freestanding professional grade punch bag using simple combinations of kicks and punches whilst keeping time with the high energy beat.” (Taken from the Fight Klub website)
Yes Fight Klub is high intensity which is why I don’t go as often as I’d like to! It’s hard work but it’s seriously exhilarating! As soon as my adrenaline kicks in I forget about the Chronic pain I suffer 24/7!
I might not be able to do all of the exercises the same as everyone else but I still do them, just in a different way!
I have to start my cool down before everyone else because my body doesn’t cool my core temperature down quick enough! I’m not sure if this is to do with my MS or my Fibromyalgia. Maybe it’s just an anomaly, who knows! All I know is that if I don’t cool my self down quickly by pouring cold water down my neck then I pass out!
Yes that part scares me but I love the class that much, I still go back! Just not too often!
This next video is something else that I really want to try! I haven’t the strength yet, well, I don’t think I do!
I don’t know anyone at my local leisure centre that offers guidance with this alone and I’m too nervous to just have a go!
It still surprises me every day how much I am loving this new me!
Nooooooo! Back to Alarms waking us up tomorrow then! 😠
It’s been a lovely 10 days of DebbieRahRah at home! We both wish it could last longer but keeping Fugly (our bungalow) isn’t free & due to me being unable to work…
She’s such a good un!
Me however, what little sleep I get & how much I kick and punch her in the night I don’t know how she wakes me! Unless it’s for the gym of course!
I just want to remind people that I don’t punch and kick my wife for fun! In fact I have no control and no memory of it! It doesn’t wake me, I only know when I wake in the morning and she’s slept on the sofa!
No gym for me in the morning, I think in fact my appointment tomorrow is much better! I know, I know, is that possible I hear you cry!?
Yes it is… because I’m off to see a man about some pain relief! Yep, that day is finally here! Time to find out what Mr Pain clinic man can do for my back this time!…
Yes I set 3 alarms to wake me for the gym!
Yes I cancelled all 3 alarms when they went off this morning, I didn’t even select snooze!
Yes I slept until 9am!
NO I didn’t go to the gym!
No I’m not annoyed with myself!
No I can’t still go to the gym. Oldest dog, ‘Princess Olivia’ has hydrotherapy at 11 & then doors to gloss
This is the first time I’ve been ok that I haven’t been to the gym!
Last week I only went to one Pilates class as well!
It’s ok to rest!
It’s ok to take it steady!
There’s no competition!
This is the week I’m going to make all the difference!
Remember it’s not ‘why me’ it’s ‘TRY ME!’
My alarm is set for gym o’clock! #thisgirlcan
Best thing I’ve ever done and believe me it still isn’t easy! I make myself look at me in a mirror 3 times a week! Why? Because I love pilates!
This is so true!…
Had enough of what I saw in that mirror!
No stopping me now until I like what I see again!
If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop reaching for it and I don’t mean the biscuit tin! 😂
Have u ever heard that saying, ‘proud as punch’ well that’s how u feel right now!
Proud of all my friends that made up team BAM4MSUK because we have been chosen as fundraiser of the month for doing so well in the ‘Color Run’
I know it says my name but it was a team effort! We did it guys! Same next year!?
Click on the link to read my story & stay tuned as I’ll be sharing more about it soon! 😄 🌈