In my last entry I spoke of watching The Biggest Loser on television. In that show, a lady was trying to finish a 5k walk. She was having such a hard time, but was determined to finish. She was the very last person to come in and a couple of the others went back and actually held her up so she could cross that line. She did finish! Good for her! It’s not about coming in first; it’s about finishing the race. When she crossed that line, she was overjoyed. She made a remark that went straight to my heart and soul. She said, “I made it! I could never even walk though a grocery store without using a cart”. She described me perfectly. For years I have not been able to walk any distance at all without holding on to my husband’s arm or taking a cart all the way from the parking lot and through the store.
I have a balance problem caused from Meniere ‘s Disease. It is a debilitating condition that can take over your life if you allow it to. It is not life threatening but it is a life changing disorder. Without notice, you may find the room spinning and you become totally helpless. It’s embarrassing and also very scary at times. This condition held me back from doing a lot of things that required walking or even driving. After years of living with this problem and just caving in without a fight, of course, my health suffered.
From the very beginning of this journey, I have struggled with this problem. It is particularly bad when the pollen is up. Allergies seem to play a part in it. My doctor has worked with me to find a solution by treating the allergies but there has not been a lot of research done concerning Meniere’s because it is not life threading. So, I decided to find myself a walking stick that I felt comfortable with. My son gave me one and that stick has been a blessing. I have seen walkers and hikers using a walking stick so I feel very good about using it.
My husband, G.I. can’t walk long distances because of a back injury, but he is able to ride his bicycle. We decided we would ride/walk the Whitewater Trail all the way to the River View marker and back to cover the 3.1 miles required for a 5K walk. What a great time we had that day. He has been such a great support throughout this journey. He kept pushing me to keep going and not give up. When I wanted to give up, he would say, “Let’s just go a little further and see what’s around that next bend”. Somehow I would get my second wind and we would keep going. We reached that River View point and just sat down for a few minutes and looked out over the river bend. The water was low but it was crystal clear. I had never seen that part of the valley before.
I didn’t want to leave but it was going to rain and we had to head back home. When we were just about halfway back to the beginning, we passed a couple of daily trail walkers. We spoke briefly and I asked them how far we will have walked when we get back to where we started. One of them gave me a reasonable estimate of 3.5 miles. I yelled with delight, “Hey, that’s more than 5k!” I was feeling confident at this point that I could actually make it.
When I crossed that finish line that day, it was as though I had climbed a mountain. I told G.I. that I was glad he was with me. I hope he is with me to share all important times of my life. The most important thing is; I walked the entire 3.5 miles with G.I. beside me supporting me, but I was not holding on to his arm to keep from falling. I walked it on my own two feet. That was an awesome feeling! That day I felt as though I had ordered that mountain to move, and it did! As we were crossing the canal and heading to the parking area, the couple we had passed on the trail was coming back. They waved at me and yelled, “Great job, Jo!” That made me feel so proud and good inside. A few simple words of encouragement can indeed help Move Mountains!Jo's Journal