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Keep up the momentum!

Written by on Aug 3, 2011

My team and I are going to experience our third Challenge Walk coming this September. How do you keep the momentum with training and fundraising? Focus on the prize: a cure for MS. When you feel like you'll never reach your goal or you just can't walk that next mile, picture the faces of MS and you will!

Training in the hot temperatures and the humidity of the summer can be difficult. Cool down before and after training, either in a cool shower, a pool, or drinking cold water can help keep a walker safe! Walk with your friends or take your kids along on the training. My son likes to ride his bike while we are walking. Look for local bike or walking trails to have a walking route without the worry of motorized vehicles. Also, some trails are mile marked for ease in training your scheduled miles.

During my first Challenge Walk, on Day 1 when I was feeling the walk and not finding the inspiration within myself, my husband handed me a photo of our son, which drove me to dig deeper and continue on my journey that day. Find that inspiration you need whether within yourself or through someone else. I wear the Join the Movement bracelet everyday as a visual reminder of the obstacles of MS. Someone once asked me why I don't take it off. My response was simple: 'Because I can't take off my MS.

For the first-time walkers out there, you will see so much inspiration on the walk that you will leave a little bit of a different person. In the meantime, thank you to all the participants for everything you are doing for those of us living with MS everyday. As you embark on your journey to the 2011 MS Challenge Walk, stay safe, hydrated, and inspired — you can do this!

Wendy, the captain of Team WWW (Walk With Wendy), was diagnosed with MS in 2006.  Although she cut down on her work hours during the past year, she still loves her job as a teacher.  Wendy lives in Attleboro, MA, with her supportive husband and 9-year-old son, who provides inspiration for her daily!

Walking 30 at 30

Written by on Mar 3, 2010

The spring 2010 issue of the National MS Society's quarterly magazine, Momentum, is now online and features a great story by Ashlea Deahl, who recently turned 30.

Ashlea's expectations for her third decade changed regularly, the first time being at age 23, when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. "I'll be in a wheelchair by the time I'm 30," she feared. But after coming to terms with her condition, she set out to conquer it. She had a new mission: "If — and only if — I ever lose the ability to walk, at least I'll know that I have done what I could with these legs when I had the chance… That [resolution] led to spinning, kick-boxing and yoga classes, surfing lessons, a rather impulsive purchase of a skateboard, and my first marathon in 2005."

Ashley DeahlIt was only a matter of time before Ashlea set her sights on the MS Challenge Walk. In October 2009, she joined NMSS president Joyce Nelson and several other hundred walkers in marching to our nation's capital.

Ashlea is exemplary of the spirit and determination that every Challenge Walker must possess. Some of us walk for those who can't; others walk while they still can. All know that the challenge of walking fifty miles is trivial next to the challenge of finding a cause and cure for MS. Anything we can do to empower ourselves and disempower MS is a step in the right direction.

Read the article, "How I spent my 30th birthday" (PDF).

Ken joined the MS Challenge Walk in 2005, more than a decade after his mother was diagnosed. After walking for three years and 150 miles, he switched to the support crew and now rides his bicycle along the trail, providing whatever encouragement (and snacks!) he can to the 600 walkers. He is also an alumnus of the event's steering committee and is this site's webmaster.