Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reflecting On Yesteryear, Finding The Joy In Today:-)

A very dear high school student stopped by my classroom to see if I'd mind serving as a "supervisor" for her, and a small group of her friends, who wanted to conduct a preseason workout in the weight room.  Preseason?  Like as in sports?  As if I'd ever say no to helping out with that!

While the girls conducted their workout and socialized, I sat there with my feet-of-thorns propped up on a weight bench...reflecting.  I remembered being a teenager.  I remembered how the majority of my friends couldn't wait to hear that last school bell ring on a Friday afternoon, because that meant they'd soon be out on the town until the wee hours of the morning.  Me?  I couldn't wait to hear that bell, because it meant I'd be practicing whatever sport was in season, or I'd be in the weight room with a few friends, laughing and chatting about life...just as these gals were.  Because come on, I wasn't allowed out past 10pm.  Army Dad;-)

Athletics were my life.  They were how I defined myself.  The newspaper articles, the travel teams, the championships, the trophies, the tryouts, and the "atta girl"s.  On the less glamorous side of the coin, there were also the injuries, the hurts-so-bad-it-feels-good pain, and the 2 false teeth I have from a home plate collision.  But I was safe.  As if you had to ask...

Most of all?  I remember the fun! 

...like playing goalie in my senior year for a coach who openly admitted to peeing when she jumped up and down.  She'd say, "you give me a heart attack when you charge out of your net at the forward, but when you make the save, I jump up and down...and pee a little!"  Who knew I'd grow up to be just a bit like her?  Almost like that thing your mother does to you when she wishes your kids to act just like you?  Not fair.

...like how much I loved playing softball.  And how I played since I was just an itty bitty.  And how my life, as well as my parents' lives, revolved around my practices, games, tryouts, tournaments, travels up and down the entire east coast, yada yada.  If I were them, I'd demand a refund.

But stuff happens.  Stuff like ms.  Now, the most athletic thing I'm capable of?  Is grocery shopping. 

Well, I do try to exercise.  Sadly, I haven't yet mastered the point at which I'm supposed to cease activity.  Obviously, I'm a slow learner after 12yrs of living with ms.  When I exert myself, I become dizzy, my vision blurs, and my legs morph into cement blocks that twitch.  I tell myself to push through it, just as I did my entire athletic life.  I was always the sturdy girl who could run miles that skinny girls struggled with.  Why?  Because I have just a little bit o' crazy in me!  Too crazy to stop, too stubborn to quit.  Maybe that's a good mindset to have with ms?

The other athletic thing I can do?  Is clip the plastic chips off the shoes of people who run for people like me.  Sure, I may have gotten dizzy with the standing up and leaning over.  Yes, my hand may have begun to cramp and twitch.  Certainly, I may have had to relinquish my clippers to another volunteer when I could no longer see whether I was cutting the chip or the person's shoelaces, but...

...that's okay, because I sure did have fun!  And I'll do it again this year. 

Yesteryear can sometimes feel like a lifetime ago.  While it sometimes can feel as if I was able to do much more than I am today, it doesn't take me long to realize that I'm so blessed to be able to do abundantly more.  I'm thankful to be "redefined".  Here are a few of my favorite things of present:

I get to experience the joy in cheering for my kids:-)

I get to volunteer in a camp kitchen.  And when I do, I raise the roof.


But perhaps the most fulfilling and, arguably, most important thing I can do?  I can throw one foot on top of another, bask in the sun, and teach my kids to notice God in every last detail...

...thank You for my every blessing, Lord:-)))


Maggie Hogan said...

Well said. Not sure how I stumbled on your post except it was from Twitter. I was diagnosed 18 months ago but have had MS for nearly 35 years. At least I KNOW now why ia am utterly exhausted, have numbness on and off for weeks at a time, trip, spazzing out, speak garbled nonsense, get crazy eye stuff. At least now I know it isn't all in my head,..oh wait! It IS in my head lol! My fav line when pressed to smooth over my ineptitude is Hey, I have LESIONS on my brain" Gotta have a sense of humor. And FAITH in the God that created me and loves me and who is with me e ven during the hard times. Especially during the hard times. I have read several of your posts now and just wanted you to know that I appreciate your grit and your faith and your optimism. May God bless you today.
Maggie Hogan
@maggieshogan on Twitter

Tina said...

I'm humbled by your post, Maggie! And we share the same humor...it truly IS in our heads! LOL! Thank you for blessing me today:-) May God bless you and strengthen you! Keep in touch!!!