I Am a Runner

Running is something I’ve always wanted to do. Growing up, I was chubby during my leanest years and obese the rest of the time. Running the mile in gym class was torture. I remember giving it my all and only making it about half way around the track before having to walk. I longed to know what that felt like–to run and not feel like I was going to vomit and pass out.

In September of 2015, I experienced some vertigo and vision issues that ultimately led to a diagnosis of MS. Along with establishing a treatment plan, I researched how the foods I was eating could reduce or increase chronic inflammation in my body and decided to give up grains, dairy and sugar. 180 pounds melted off my body in less than 18 months.
I found myself with this incredible amount of energy and a renewed desire to run. I started slowly–running for one-minute increments and adding on to that each time I ran. I decided to train for a half-marathon in January of 2017 and was able to complete two half marathons in 2017. In 2018, I ran a half marathon in April and a full marathon in October with a team of other MS runners and our spouses and supporters called Run a Myelin My Shoes (RAMMS).
I would never say I’m a fast runner, and I don’t plan to win any races in my lifetime. Most runs, I take about 10 steps and begin thinking, “there is no way you’re going to be able to finish this run today,” but then I pray for God to give me strength and endurance, and He’s never failed me yet. If it’s hot or if I’m pushing myself a bit too hard, my cheek tingles and my right toes begin to go numb. My lip will usually quiver and I can either choose to slow down and it will stop or push through and it eventually gets better.
I don’t run for the crowds or the praise or a t-shirt and medal waiting at the end—I run because I can. Someday, I might be limited on my mobility and running will be a thing of the past. But as Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” Today I can run, so I will run. And I’ll keep running as long as I have legs to do so. You can read more about my story at nottodayms.com.

One of the greatest joys of my life was completing the Detroit Free Press Marathon in October 2018 with RAMMS. We are from all over the US and have virtual teammates from all over the world! We are led by marathon superwoman and MS Rockstar, Cheryl Hile, and meeting these people and forming a community of support has been wonderful. The team is gearing up for our next venture—the Richmond Marathon in Virginia on November 16, 2019. My husband and I won’t be able to attend, but we’re planning to run virtually by running a half-marathon around our hometown. We would love to have more teammates to join us! If you would to participate with RAMMS in-person or virtually, send us an email at runamyelinmyshoes@gmail.com. And you can read more about RAMMS here.
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Nora Gocking

Nora is a writer, runner, and lover of Netflix who lives in the great state of Kentucky with her husband and two children. Diagnosed with MS at the age of 35, Nora changed her diet, lost 180 pounds and became a runner. To date, she has completed 2 half marathons, 1 full marathon, and is planning two half marathons for 2019. Nora plans to spend the rest of her years on earth spreading joy and laughter and telling others about the amazing grace of Jesus.  

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  • Kim   Jul 27, 2019 2:14 AM
    Thank you for sharing that Nora, I used to run (run/walk) and you are an inspiration to get back to it. Also to change my diet and have a positive attitude!
  • Henry   Aug 15, 2019 10:44 AM
    You rock!!!!!
  • Barbara A. Ellico   Aug 15, 2019 11:21 AM
    I'm from Michigan and when I saw the quote from M&M's "Lose Yourself", I got a little choked up. At the very end of the song he says "You can do anything you set your mind to" and truer words were never spoken. I've had MS since 2005 and I find myself feeling sorry for myself at times. You have inspired me to be more active. Thank you for your wonderful story! All the best to you, Nora.
  • Judy Heilmann   Aug 15, 2019 11:59 AM
    Thank you for this article, Nora! I’m newly diagnosed, but having been declining physically for awhile. I was a runner. I want to be a runner again. I NEED to be a runner again. Thank you for giving me hope!
  • CC   Aug 15, 2019 12:23 PM
    Thank you for sharing your story. I was diagnosed with MS in 2014 at the age of 26. I did not know what to do so I went on a drinking binge. Deff not a smart decision but I was lost. I thought my life was over and I'd be in a wheelchair before I'm 30.

    Now I am less than 1 week away from turning 32 and am stronger and healthier that I have been in a very long time. No more alcohol, daily exercise, and watching what I eat. I feel great.

    It's very inspiring reading others stories and how they are overcoming and living their best life with this mystery diagnosis.
  • InThisTogether22  Aug 15, 2019 2:06 PM
    Very inspiring story. I have been on a plant based diet trying to manage my symptoms. I am currently trying to walk without a walker, and I hope to run again some day soon. Thanks for sharing!

    CC, I was diagnosed at 26 as well. I will be 32 on Sunday. I had to comment. :) Best of luck to you and Happy Birthday!
  • Amy   Aug 15, 2019 8:10 PM
    Very inspiring! Great job!!! I stay healthy if I do not eat dairy, gluten, oatmeal, soy and alcohol. If I follow Terry Wahl's diet I feel my best. I am off of Tecfidera and no progression since the change in diet which has been 3 years. I am 44. God is good :)
  • Maria Coti   Aug 20, 2019 9:45 AM
    I am a 3rd degree TKD. and i'm depress because i can't exercise, I can't run, and I hardly can walk.
    reading your story make me feel that there is hope. May God bless you.
  • albert lisy   Nov 30, 2019 3:23 AM
    Very Nice blog and very usefully to all users. And Also keep sharing.