22 September 2012

This morning I am sitting outside my daughters martial arts dojo where she is currently training for her black belt test that will take place in early December. I'm enjoying the warmth of the cool morning sun on my skin and a cup of coffee before I go inside to observe.

The students training here range in age from about 7 up to their early 60s. My daughter is in class with the adults for this portion of her training. She has been training with this academy for almost 4 years now and will continue until she tells me she wants to pursue something else. Personally, I think this has been one of the best things we have done for her. The physical and mental exertion of this sport has built her self esteem and I've enjoyed watching her turn into a very mature young lady. She turns 13 in October and sometimes even now I have to remind myself that she is still very young. She's had to deal with a lot and has picked up a lot of slack at home when I'm not feeling well. I truly am very proud of her.

What was I talking about? Oh - yeah!

Time to go inside.

Watching them move in sync is like watching a well choreographed play. It can be mesmerizing and the sounds of the sticks they use in their practice is reminiscent of popping corn.

I have to admit there are many times that I get envious watching them out on the mat. They move with agility and grace gained through hours of practice.

One of my biggest challenges with MS is balance and coordination. Something you need for most activities - which can hinder a lot of people with issues from pursuing physical exercise.

It's almost like we can get caught in this evil catch22... We want to have the balance and energy we need to exercise but we need to exercise in order to achieve the balance and it's proven that through exercise we will be given more energy.

So what do we do? Start small. (I'm talking to myself here too.)

I've started taking walks around the block. Slowly sometimes and sometimes using my husbands arm when I am having a bad balance day and am too stubborn to break out the cane again.

I watch in envy at the number of people that bicycle around town where I live... So (laugh if you will) but I bought an adult tricycle! I will be able to go for a bike ride without the worry that my balance will disappear when I'm out. It may sound silly, but it is extremely powerful to be able to take a bike ride with your kids. Something lots of people take for granted.

Little battle victories (like finding any way to be active) in this daily fight against MS can make winning the war that much easier.