I never thought I would need one of these.
This picture was taken riding my new four wheel scooter on the local Fernleigh Track.
It’s the first time I have returned to the track since being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (referred to as MND, or ALS). I used to run along here all the time, but because of the muscle waste in my feet and calves, I can no longer do that.
To tell you the truth, I would much rather be running: the pace, the clear mind, and the sense of accomplishment. Not being able to run is one type of loss, an unexpected change and disappointment, but I know that many of my readers face their own set of challenges.
For all of us, we have choices to make about our current state of mind, whether we allow challenges to completely derail us or whether we get back on track. Personally, I don’t want to get stuck in a place of sadness or regret for the things I can no longer do. Instead, I want to rest in a place of thanksgiving for the things I can.
In life, we decide whether to live in the memory of abilities or opportunities lost, or in the moment of new experiences to be found. We either waste our time carrying the burden of what we don’t have or we win today’s battle with the joy of what we do have.
Maybe in your yesterday, you were married, but today’s reality is that you are divorced or widowed. Then don’t let that divorce or death steal your life, start to find new ways of moving on, being you and loving again.
Maybe you are single and waiting to be married, or married and waiting to have children. No matter how challenging it is at times, life is far too short to spend our days wishing things were different, missing out on the wonder of life around us.
Or maybe, like me, you face a progressive disability, or simply the challenge of the normal aging process (that’s all of us!). It’s hard when you find your recovery times are longer and you can’t bounce back like you once did. But do we stop trying or being involved at all just because we’re not as agile or fast as we once were?
I remember hearing from Australia’s most decorated women’s tennis champion, Margaret Court. Just because she is no longer world number one, did she stop playing tennis altogether? No, she still plays. I’m sure she has simply adjusted her game and expectations.
I throw you the challenge today, take your focus off your inability and onto your ability. Consider what you are able to do today that tomorrow you may not be able to and then enjoy doing it.
My scooter rides may not be the same as running but I’m doing what I can do. Besides, on my scooter, I get to enjoy more of my surrounding: the ferns, the beautiful trees, the sounds of bell birds above.
It’s never too late to get back on track.