It took one weekend to change everything. It took me another six months to realise just how much had changed.
People say you don’t realise how lucky you are until something goes wrong. I did. Sure, we all lose our way from time to time, but I’d spent the last few years thinking how lucky I was that my life had finally turned out how I’d never dared to hope it would. The perfect job, the perfect boyfriend, about to move into the perfect house and I was healthier and fitter than I’d been in my whole life.
Then it all seemed to come crashing down.Not that I knew it at the time. I often wonder: Do I even realise it now? What started as extreme tiredness (think of the worst hangover of your life and the worst flu, combine them and multiply by 100) and then double vision led to three weeks in hospital, a zillion tests and an eventual MS diagnosis when the lesions decided to show up for the party.
I didn’t cry when the doctor told me. I went home, put my runners on and hit the road. I decided there and then that there would be no more excuses. I was going to run a marathon.
And why not? As long as I can move one foot in front of the other there’s nothing to stop me. If I believe it enough then I will do it. I’m not going to break any records and I couldn’t care less about my time, but I will cross that finish line, whatever it takes.
When something bad happens, people often ask: Why me? And trust me, I eventually got around to asking that. But when I was in hospital, speaking to other people who had been through so much, people who seemed to be thrown one obstacle after another, I thought: Why not me? What makes me more special than anyone else? Nothing. This is just life. It throws so much shit at us.
I have MS and it’s really, really unfair – but no amount of thinking that will change it. This time last year, fitter and healthier than I’d ever been, I never dreamt I’d be capable of running a marathon. But here I am with MS, feeling more ready than ever to take on the challenge. My body might slow me down from time to time, but all I can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other. And it’s only though doing that that I’ll know what I’m really capable of.
See you at the finish line.