I always wanted to run a marathon. To experience the exhilaration of crossing the finish line after miles and miles on the road. Being able to say “I did it” to all the naysayers and those who never thought I could stick it out. To prove to myself that with a lot of hard work and determination, the rewards are worth it. To proudly display my medal on the wall as a reminder of just how far I’ve come.
I never ran that marathon and as things stand now, I won’t be able to do so even on my good days. But you know what I discovered? I realized that every day I am a marathon winner. Every time I get myself up to face the day whether it’s just to make my way to the mailbox and back, to take a shower in order to make myself look presentable to the world, or simply to do a load of laundry…I push through the near impossibilities of those tasks and wind up a winner.
To the general population of people in this world, those tasks seem simple and mundane. They are things we take for granted never realizing how precious even the simple things in life are. But living with Multiple Sclerosis has given me a greater perspective on life and on what we value in this world.
Life is not about the career or the fancy cars. It’s not about the parties or how big of a name you make for yourself. It’s about believing in yourself when you’re at your weakest. It’s about pushing through the darkest of days. It’s about never giving up. Those triumphs happen more than I ever realized they would.
Every day you have the potential of being great. Don’t let the fact that you can’t do something stop you from living. Do what you can with what you have and then do a little bit more. Cross the finish line at the end of your day knowing that you did everything you could do even if all you could do was a bunch of little itty-bitty things. Hold your head high because even in the little things you win.
I know for me, I can point to the medal I got when I went grocery shopping by myself or the one I got because I made it through an hour of physical therapy. Then there’s the one I got from vacuuming the floor. That one was intense. But my favorite one is the one I got from making the bed. That is the one I’m super proud of. It left me with a bruised shin, worn out legs and a new load of laundry to do, but I did it.
You may not be able to run a real marathon, but don’t let that limit what you can do. You are a winner every day. Wear your medals proudly, you earned them.