Now where’s my genie?

Have you ever been watching TV as someone mounts a horse to ride through the open fields into the sunset and your first thought is, I wish I could do that? Or maybe it was a gymnast in the Olympics, or someone singing a special rendition of “Lean on Me” at the corner of Main Street and 3rd, or a person painting a masterpiece on the wall at the mall.

I think it would be amazing if we could just make things happen in an instant. If we wanted to sing, poof…we open our mouth and the sweetest, most amazing sound comes out without any training. If we wanted to dance, poof…we wow the crowds with no hard work involved at all. That would simply be amazing.

I use to wish I could find a Genie in a bottle so impossible things could be made real with just three wishes, but that old saying “practice makes perfect” really is true. Those skills we want will never happen until we get out there and do our best to make them happen.

Look at the things you are good at right now. At one time, you weren’t so good at them, but you spent time developing your skills and now it’s almost as if you can do them without even thinking.

Multiple Sclerosis can cause you to think that dreams don’t come true any more. What you use to be good at is no longer easy or even doable, so you give up on trying. But you can’t give MS the satisfaction of beating you and causing you to give up on your dreams. You just have to get a bit creative and find a different way.

There are things you could do right now, today, that would put you one step closer to seeing your dreams actually happen. You won’t be an instant success, you may not even be a success at all in the world’s eyes, but if you succeed for yourself, that’s all that matters.

Do it for you. Set up some goals. Don’t make them hard either. Start off slow, but carry a resilient determination along with you.

For me, my dream is to complete a 5k race. That may sound easy to some and to others an impossibility. I thought it was more of an impossibility for me until I made up my mind I was going to accept the challenge and work hard to make it happen. Now keep in mind, I don’t even walk. You’re probably thinking I’m crazy. How in the world is she going to do that? Well, I have a manual wheelchair, weak but usable arms, and a determination to do it.

Yesterday was my first day working towards my goal. I attempted a 5k. At the beginning I thought “this is going to be easy” but by time I got to the 3k mark I was ready to strangle myself for saying that. Then at about the 4k mark I quit moving. By that time my arms were completely numb, vertigo was bad, my vision was nearly gone, and every muscle in my body was screaming at me saying “what are you doing!”

As I sat there, all I could think about was the fact that I still had to get to my van. I did actually make it back to my van and by that time I was thankful I tried. According to many, my first day was a failure, but to me it was a great success. It was my first attempt to victory. Each time I get out there to work at it I will get better, but it will take work. There won’t be a poof or a Genie to help me out.

I will use all the tools I have available to help me through. I have my cooling vest gel packs in the freezer, my gloves to keep my hands from getting blisters and my determination to push through to the end. I will complete a 5k race this year even if I need someone helping to push my chair across the finish line. It’s no longer just a thought in my head. It’s a dream that I’m working to make a reality.

I want you to work on setting up a plan to make your dreams a reality too. Start moving closer to actually doing them. Don’t let MS get in the way. You can do this.

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  


About the Author
About the Author
Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

13 replies
  1. Declan
    Declan says:

    Beautiful post and so true. Set achievable goals but don’t be afraid to reset them if necessary. Don’t make them too easy because you will only be kidding yourself

  2. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    I think that all you wrote is true as we all need plans to make.Don’t let anything stop you but be ready for change if the monster comes along. I try every day to get myself going as best I can. It’s not always perfect but it does some good.I do have a small amount of mobility and I use all of it to make me feel good about myself

  3. Susan Rick
    Susan Rick says:

    Beautiful timing for me. Thank you! I was an avid and skilled equestrian before MS struck. Now I struggle to hold my seat at a trot and can only mount from a mounting block. The other day I broke down in tears over it. But I am adapting. I have taught my amazing horse to come get me at the mounting block. My dear friend is helping me adapt my saddle with a strap to help with my balance. I am going to teach my horse to trot slower. I have taught her how to side pass while I work by her side. We have been partners for 16 years. She knows something is off with me and works very hard to stay underneath me. I will perservere!

  4. Sandra Voitka
    Sandra Voitka says:

    Amazing incentive. I am laughing at myself to think I can actually ski down a hill with my family on a trip to Banff. I have to try even if I slide down the hill on my…. This post made me feel I am not nuts…..you find a way.Accept and move on but don’ squash your dreams. Thank you so much.

  5. Nancy Jones
    Nancy Jones says:

    Way to go Penelope! It’s not easy, but your inspirational messages are some of my greatest motivators. I also refuse to sit down and let MS take over my life, Having a finish line, whether it’s an actual line or another goal I’ve set for myself, helps me keep going….I know I can, I know I can!

  6. Aileen Brown says:

    5k you should gave done it in stages 1k then build it up I started swimming again last year I couldn’t swim 10 x 25 metres without stopping now I can do 40 my goal is a swim mile 70.4 lengths without stopping I could do it with a break but want to prove myself – I have never done it not even when I was MS free and younger lol I am slow but I will get there

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