Swim MS

Swimming to support those with Multiple Sclerosis

MS Awareness Life

For those of us connected to Multiple Sclerosis May is usually a pretty busy month!  There are information sessions, awareness campaigns and usually several volunteer opportunities.  This year was no exception, in fact it may have been the busiest month we have seen here in BC!  Most communities in the province held their annual walks in May, and four out of five Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley Walks occurred just this past Sunday. 

Now that I am working at the MS Society I am learning that our busy months end only to make way for even busier months!  But I love it!  See I believe that we will find the cause of MS...maybe even a cure in my lifetime.  I truly believe that this discovery will take place in beautiful BC.  Every time we complete an event or launch a new campaign I think to myself "this is one more step forward".  These days my time has been limited to running between office and meeting and event after event.  In transit I hit the pool and stop by swim meets to recruit relay teams for SwimMS.  I feel sometimes that when I speak with people I mostly speak about my work, and my mission.   I know some folks may be getting a little tired, but I'm not!  It's not that I want to tire anyone.  I believe in what I am doing.  For the futures of my friends and my family member - I believe in my work.  Some people may not know anyone with MS, or maybe they don't know them well enough to see how the disease affects them.  I like to think I help them see.

This year SwimMS has so many changes.  It's going to be a far different event, but I feel it is still important.  Last year my team and I created lots of excitement with our lofty goal, but this year we bring the mission closer to the community by calling on our friends and fellow swimmers to join us.  For the purposes of this initiative, once again I must thank May. 

A week ago our beautiful outdoor pools opened.  Between all the other stuff going on I found peace and calm at Kits pool.  The salty water refreshed me.  Being able to swim in the crisp water of the pool while looking out to the ocean, the sky and the mountains eases my fears.  Following my first Kits pool swim this year I took a moment to stand in the sunshine and enjoy my surroundings.  I closed my eyes and listened to the noises around me and felt the breeze and the sea water.  I love kits pool! 

This May also marked my earliest open water training swim!  On Saturday my fiance and I drove to Sasamat Lake in Port Moody.  It was a dull and chilly day.  We arrived to a parking lot which was empty except for a few cars.  White Pine Beach was almost entirely vacant.  An elderly fisherman sat at the end of the beach on a stool.  He watched as we strolled down to the waters edge in our wetsuits and slipped into the black water.  Never before have I set out in the ocean or lake in May.  It felt great!  The two of us made our way to the opposite end of the lake where a small group of people sat on the bridge taking in the scenery...and watched the crazy swimmers.  I also love lake swimming!

The past two years has gotten more and more exciting.  I feel lucky that I have taken the steps in life to get me where I am today.  I am thankful that I felt ready to get back in the water.  I am thankful that I knew when to leave my career in Dentistry and that I learned the valuable lesson of patience while I waited for the right fit.  I am thankful for the people I have met and the support and encouragement I have received.  I am so happy to be back out under the clouds and equally happy to be nearing the second SwimMS in August!

May is MS awareness month, but for myself and many of my friends, we have chosen a lifestyle which is based on awareness.  We as a community know that important strides are being made and we will continue to work towards those moments.  Those days on which we can say "THIS is what causes MS" and "This is the cure".

-I can't wait to say those two things!