“I have always used the mountains as a metaphor for what life with MS is really like,” she said. “We can’t always get to the top… we have to try harder and dig deeper. I’m not asking people with MS to climb a mountain (although I have always said I would love the company), but I am telling them that they have their “mountain.” Maybe your mountain is learning a foreign language or getting a college degree. The mountain can be any challenge you thought you could no longer achieve once you received an MS diagnosis. I say why let the MS stop you? Take on that mountain and go as high as you want. Not only did you do it, you did it with MS! You are already a winner just by virtue of making the attempt!”
I like the idea of different endings rather than failures. Very few things in my life have actually turned out the way I envisioned, but most of them have turned out well. Some have turned out even better than I dared hope.
There is no denying that MS has profoundly impacted my life due to physical limitations. MS has also lead me to explore new avenues that I otherwise might have ignored, enriching my life beyond what was. Different endings, not failures.
Wendy is on a never-ending mission to raise awareness of MS on a global scale. You can read more about her work as a motivational speaker and educator in Care2′s Trailblazers for Good: Wendy Booker, Mountain Climber with MS: “I’m Not Done Yet.”
Here’s to “different endings!”
Writer Ann Pietrangelo embraces the concept of personal responsibility for health and wellness. As a person living with multiple sclerosis, she combines a healthy lifestyle and education with modern medicine, and seeks to provide information and support to others. She is a regular contributor to Care2 Causes. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo
Photos courtesy of Wendy Booker