Saturday, April 16, 2011

MS Walk

I am fortunate to work with a group of caring, generous people. This may be only my second year at this school, but I feel very thankful for the opportunity to work here. For me, the MS Walk each year is a time I am especially grateful for the kindness of my colleagues.

Though I never hide the fact that I have multiple sclerosis, I tend to not make a big deal of it, either, especially with people I am just meeting. Somehow, though, several teachers at school did learn of my MS early on. One teacher had recently been affected by the disease as well, with her sister being diagnosed. This teacher formed a team last year and this year to walk in the Northwest Arkansas MS Walk. Several faculty and friends joined with us on a cold Saturday morning to walk in honor of her sister and me and raise money for the National MS Society.

After several venue changes, including on the University of Arkansas campus (on the same day as the ESPN-broadcast spring red-white football scrimmage), the walk took place at Lake Fayetteville. This turned out to be a great location, because it had good parking and a wide-open space for gathering, as well as a pretty location to actually walk.

Our "Woodland Walks" team arrived early for a photo, but wound up huddled together due to the chilly temperatures. Shawn had layers on, but had not brought a jacket. One of the teachers had a sweathshirt in her vehicle that she let him borrow. It was too big for him, but he loved it! (Notice the hole in the knee of the sweatpants. Both boys wound up with holes in THAT knee for some reason.)
He also loved the donuts the walk coordinators provided.
A couple of teachers brought dogs along. (We had plans for the afternoon, so our dogs stayed home. I was also on my own with Shawn, so I didn't want the extra work!) Shawn's dog-loving nature meant he was quick to play with them. He talked about sweet Lola long after the walk.
Once the walk was underway, we started off with some friends at the same pace as the rest of the walkers. It was a pretty brisk pace, though, and not one I felt I could keep up for long. Though I enjoyed walking and talking with my friend, it wasn't long before I needed to slow down. I took time for some photos on the path as a way to keep it slow.

The walk was set up so that you could walk 1/2 mile, then turn around and return to make a full mile walk. There were also longer options. I didn't want to push it once I started feeling the strain in my left leg (the one that tends to "go out" with fatigue due to the MS). Fortunately, since MS is known for stopping people from walking at all, I believe people understand that someone with MS may not make it the full mile!

On the way back I photographed the other side of the bridge, with a small stream and bluffs. Northwest Arkansas is so pretty. (Yes, I may have gone overboard with the number of photos. My dad also did that with scenery and flowers, so I believe it's natural for me!)

I feel so honored to have such caring friends and colleagues who would walk partially in my honor.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures!! I'm glad the walk went so well! I missed it this year, was 8mo pregnant and really didn't feel like it this year!!