This weekend, I'll join my team, Walk Steady, for Walk MS in Burlington, Vermont. I decided to do the walk to show my support for other people who have MS, especially in my state, where the number of people facing this disease is higher than average. If raising a little money and generating a little visibility for MS can help in anyway, then I want to participate.
Now that it's getting closer, I'll admit that I'm nervous.
What if it's cold? My leg gets stiff when it's cold.
What if I can't walk three miles? I think I can, but I haven't lately.
What if I have a limp? I limp when I'm tired and that would be embarrassing.
What if I trip? It wouldn't be the first time.
What if I'm sad? Because having MS is a hard business.
On one hand, it's a nice walk on a hopefully sunny day. On the other hand, it's a walk fraught with hard truths about a disease that I sometimes prefer not to think too much about.
I mentioned all this to my friend Kate early on, and she gave me such wonderful advice: "The whole point of Walk MS is that you don't have to be scared." Or embarrassed, or nervous, or anything else. It's a day to join in with other people who have the same challenges that I do, or who love people who have the same challenges, or who just want to share their support. It's a day to be brave.
So this weekend, I'll strap on my walking shoes and join in. I've got some great friends who will walk with me and my wonderful parents are risking the still-cold Vermont weather to walk as well. Limp or no limp, I'll be there celebrate the fact that I can do it and to show my support for people who can't. If you're in Vermont, I hope I'll see you there, too.