I have been here in Salt Lake City, Utah, since Sunday afternoon. When you are in the sun during the day, it is like sitting in an oven (not that I’ve ever actually sat in an oven). But yesterday morning was cloudy, and there was a little breeze. I wasn’t doing anything until 1pm, so I went sight-seeing (and looking for a drug store). It was really nice and I took a lot of pictures. You can check some of them out on my Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/vanbenschotenk. Here is a good sample of what I’ve seen and done since Monday morning.
During the past four days, I have pushed myself to compete in four events during the National Veterans Wheelchair Games here. I have bowled Silver medal), ran the motorized slalom (an obstacle course for power chairs – gold medal), played 9-ball with two other women, both of whom I already knew (bronze medal), and played Boccia Ball (no medals, just had fun… I was winning until the last round, when my opponent pulled ahead with a final score of 4-3).
But it’s not about those medals! It’s about grit and determination, friends and fun, and great competition. Having MS, I suffer from fatigue most of the time and it’s with a lot of effort that I go out and compete like this. And I don’t only do it here. I also take part in the Valor Games (for veterans with all disabilities), in Chicago and San Antonio, where I push myself a lot more to succeed.
Now I am looking at participating in new events through other types of games all over the country. I also have set a goal to go back to the gym on a regular basis, participate in adaptive sporting clinics, and get myself out of that recliner, where I normally spend most of my time.
I want to get stronger, and more active, pushing through the pain and fatigue and succeeding in doing the most I can do and not give in to this disease (MS).
That will take pushing myself to do more, all that I can do, with determination and grit. I will not give up!