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Training begins today!

Written by on May 7, 2013 at 10:13 am

Hello, Challengers!

I wanted to check in with you and see the status of your training. We are now 18 weeks out from the MS Challenge Walk and I thought I'd give you some motivational tips and information to help get you going!

To train correctly for this event, you need to progress slowly and listen to your body at all times. First, begin by adjusting the frequency of you walking, then the duration and finally the intensity.  The essential components of a good walking program are warm-up, walk, cool-down, stretching and strength training. We have an 18-week training schedule you can follow that will get you ready for the walk, starting with a three-mile walk today!

Five Good Reasons to Start Walking (besides the MS Challenge Walk)

  1. Reduces cholesterol levels
  2. Decrease high blood pressure
  3. Reduces risk of heart disease
  4. Increase energy
  5. Decreases stress

Five Ways to Incorporate Walking into Your Daily Life

  1. Walk your dog (or someone else's dog — with permission, of course!)
  2. Take a pre- or post-dinner walk. This is a great time to just be by yourself or take along your family for some quality time with them!
  3. Skip the elevator and take the stairs
  4. Do errands on foot, or park in the rear of the parking lot and walk to the store
  5. Walk to work — even if you telecommute, take a half-hour each morning to do a lap around the neighborhood, ending at your "office"

Five Steps to Take to be Successful

  1. Make a commitment to yourself
  2. Reserve time in your schedule
  3. Create a habit first
  4. Establish your long and short term goals
  5. Reward yourself when you meet your goals (a new bestseller, tickets to a concert or play, etc)

Beginning in June, we will be hosting MS Challenge Walk Group Trainings. I'll keep you informed on those dates as we get closer to June!  As this is my first Challenge Walk, I will be training every step of the way with you all!

Registered walkers should have received all your materials in the mail by now; if you have not, please let me knowThe recommended training schedule is in your guide and located online on our website. It’s time to dust off those sneakers (if you haven’t already) and get moving!  Be sure to contact me if you have any questions, otherwise I’ll be in touch with you soon.

Aileen is the Development Manager for the Greater New England Chapter of the National MS Society responsible for the 2013 Challenge Walk. She has interned with the National MS Society at the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter with Program Events and is looking forward to working closely with the Steering Committee and Challenge Walk Teams to make this year's MS Challenge Walk a memorable one!

Introducing MS Challenge Talk

Written by on May 6, 2012 at 6:28 pm

The MS Challenge Blog has always been letting the MS community read stories and advice from veterans of the MS Challenge Walk. Starting this week, you'll be able to hear from these pros directly, in a series of audio interviews.

Called MS Challenge Talk, these recordings profile the heroes who have accepted the challenge to walk 3 days and 50 miles for multiple sclerosis. Each week, you'll hear from a different walker or volunteer about their connection to the cause, the training and fundraising tricks they've learned, and the memories they've made along the way.

These interviews are completely free and can be listened to anytime you want right here on the blog; just be sure to come back every Monday for each new episode. (You can get email reminders when new interviews are published!)

Shows can be downloaded to your computer or portable music player. To subscribe via iTunes, click this link then click the "Subscribe Free" button in iTunes. You can then listen to the show on your iPod, iPad, or iPhone while driving to work, enjoying a training walk, or anywhere else you like.

We look forward to MS Challenge Talk bringing the community together in new and exciting ways. Thank you for listening! Please let us know if you have any questions.

(Thanks to Jennifer Finn for the intro and outro voiceovers! Music is courtesy Apple's iMovie program and was suggested by Lisa Kellogg and refined by Karenanna Creps. Album artwork is by Wendy Golden.)

Welcome to MS Challenge Talk, a weekly audio recording that shares the stories and experiences of veterans of those who have walked three days and 50 miles to bring the world closer to a cure for multiple sclerosis, courtesy the National MS Society's MS Challenge Walk. You can subscribe to the show for free in Apple iTunes!

Training for those 50 miles

Written by on May 18, 2011 at 4:55 pm

If you live in Massachusetts like I do, the snow has cleared and it's time to start thinking about your walking program. Here are some motivational tips and information to help get you going.

To train correctly for this event, you need to progress slowly and listen to your body at all times. First, begin by adjusting the frequency of your walking: we have several training schedules available to help you build up your regularity. Then slowly increase the time spent walking, and then the speed, or intensity. Through it all, remember the essential steps of a good walking program are to warm-up, walk, cool-down, stretching and strength training.

Here are some other positive aspects and techniques to keep in mind:

Five Good Reasons to Start Walking (besides the MS Challenge Walk)

  1. Reduces cholesterol levels
  2. Decrease high blood pressure
  3. Reduces risk of heart disease
  4. Increase energy
  5. Decreases stress

Five Ways to Incorporate Walking into Your Daily Life

  1. Walk your dog (or someone else's dog — with permission, of course!)
  2. Take a pre- or post-dinner walk. This is a great time to just be by yourself or take along your family for some quality time with them!
  3. Skip the elevator and take the stairs
  4. Do errands on foot, or park in the rear of the parking lot and walk to the store
  5. Walk to work — even if you telecommute, take a half-hour each morning to do a lap around the neighborhood, ending at your "office"

Five Steps to Take to be Successful

  1. Make a commitment to yourself
  2. Reserve time in your schedule
  3. Create a habit first
  4. Establish your long and short term goals
  5. Reward yourself when you meet your goals (a new bestseller, tickets to a concert or play, etc)

It's time to dust off those sneakers (if you haven't already) and get moving!

Lori is the Executive Vice President of Resource Development for the Greater New England Chapter of the National MS Society. She has been with the Society for over 10 years. MS Challenge Walk holds a special place in her heart, and every year, it inspires her to continue her work on behalf of the 19,000 people with MS and their families the chapter supports.

Fundraising — flashbacks to childhood

Written by on August 19, 2009 at 11:30 am

If one were to describe my fundraising or selling skills, it might read something like,"Has difficulty asking for money even when the cause is noble; is too shy to barter even when in Mexico on vacation; required younger brother's assistance selling Girl Scout Cookies."

Trouble selling Girl Scout cookies! How bad is that? So here I am, about forty years later, preparing for my fifth Challenge Walk and proud member of the very successful Blister Buddies — and my knees still knock when I think about raising money.

So what kind of advice could this former Girl Scout and all round selling weenie have to offer?

  • Personalize the asking — My brother, sister, parents, aunt, and cousins all support me. I walk for Patty, my team captain; some of my family have met her, while others only know her story through me. I talk to them about MS and how it impacts Patty and those I've met at the Challenge Walk. Never forget how important it is to tell your MS story.
  • Have a bake sale — Even I can stand behind a table filled with homemade treats and make a sale. The Blister Buddies added a bake sale component to our annual yard sale this year, and not only did it add to the revenues — it slowed people down long enough to hear our story. I can't tell you the number of people who said "keep the change" when paying for a cookie or piece of cake.
  • Wear your message — I have a drawer full of MS shirts, hats, bags and pins. I wear them as often as I can, with the result that someone almost always asks about the event or the team.
  • It's okay to think small — Tens and twenties add up. Next year I plan to recruit people to have a yard sale with all or part of the proceeds going to MS. Our team has in-kind support from two printing companies, so I can provide my fundraising recruits with signage and other assistance. Bakes sales, dinners, similar functions all can be hosted by others to benefit MS; think about the number of new ears that will hear your MS story!

Fundraising isn't easy for most of us, so just remember that when you're telling your MS story, the listener can't hear your knees knocking!

Joan joined the MS Challenge Walk in 2004 when her friend and now Blister Buddies team captain, Patty Thorpe registered to walk. Patty, diagnosed with MS over 10 years ago, shared her diagnosis with Joan early on in their friendship. The undertaking of that first Challenge Walk and the three that followed not only strengthened Patty's and Joan's friendship, it began an MS educational journey that continues well after mile fifty each year.