Setting Goals and Staying Positive with RMS By Donnie, Father, Husband, Project Leader, Former Athlete • September 18, 2017
I know summer’s just passed, but I have to say, as I sit here and think about what a great season it has been, there is nothing more beautiful than the Bluegrass State of Kentucky in the summertime. I am blessed to live in the central part of the state, which we like to call “Horse Country.” In my neck of the woods we are known for three things: Horses, Basketball, and Bourbon. The official start of summer for me was marked by two things—the Kentucky Derby and the Masters golf tournament.
Oddly enough, even in the beautiful summer weather, I haven’t been to the Kentucky Derby, but I have been to a lot of horse races at Keeneland, which is pretty close to where I live. If you have never attended a horse race, I would highly recommend it. There is nothing more exciting than standing on the rail at the finish line when the horses are hitting the home stretch. The sound of the horses coming down the track is awesome.
But golf—my other summer indicator—is probably my favorite thing in the world. I’ve told my wife on more than one occasion that if I had 3 wishes one would be to play a round of golf at Augusta National. The beauty and peacefulness of the place is beyond words. That’s just based on what I’ve seen on TV. I can only imagine what it is like to actually be there—teeing off in the same place my favorite golfers visit regularly.
I, on the other hand, played my last round of golf about six years ago. My relapsing MS had reached the point where my heat sensitivity and balance would not allow me to play. I have been to the driving range a few times over the last couple of years just to swing the club, but I made it my personal goal to go to the driving range and hit a bucket of balls. This goal proved to be a little challenging for me, because balance is the key to having a good golf swing. As my relapsing MS started to progress, two of the first things to be affected were my balance and foot drop. I still have issues with both, but I’m still trying really hard, at my own pace, to get back on the driving range.
I love the sport of golf mainly because it is just you and the course. Every hole on every course is different. Each is unique in its own way. You have to analyze the hole and choose your strategy of attack. You make the choices and the execution is up to you. I believe that golf is in many ways like fighting relapsing MS. Each person’s RMS is different, like a golf course. Each day with RMS can bring new challenges. One person’s approach to fighting RMS may not be the same as another's. Some treatments may be right for some but not for everyone. One thing that is common is that you have to analyze your approach and choose the treatment that is best for you.
Relapsing MS has taken a lot from me over the years—but one thing it hasn’t taken is my attitude and desire. Sure, I may not accomplish all of my goals all the time, but it’s certainly not because I don’t put in enough effort. The best piece of advice I can give is to stay positive and keep fighting.
Did you set any exciting goals for yourself this past summer? I’m always interested in hearing about people’s goals and what they do to achieve them!
- LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS
By Donnie, Father, Husband, Project Leader, Former Athlete, November 7, 2017
On most Sundays in the late afternoon you can find me doing one of two things. I am either watching golf or NASCAR
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