Between You and I

By Doug Ankerman

Time we had a chat. A good ‘ol face to face.

You know we have a few things in common, right?

First, we both have multiple sclerosis. Me, since 1996. An MS diagnosis can be difficult to accept but over time you realize you can’t change the past so you must work to positively improve the future.

Which leads me to the second thing we have in common…muscles.

Did you know we have around 640 muscles in our bodies? That’s not 640 between us, you have 640 muscles and I have 640 muscles. (Although looking at me one might think I left a few hundred muscles in my other shirt!)

And those muscles…your muscles, my muscles, our muscles…want to move!  They want to be stretched, strengthened, and energized.

Meanwhile, multiple sclerosis wants to painfully wretch, tighten, and shorten your muscles till they cry “Uncle.”

So we must have a plan to keep that from happening. We must prioritize our needs to keep our bodies strong, loose, and resilient.

We must make our health the number-one, numero-uno priority. We must give our body what it needs and craves. Give it movement. As much as you can. Reach. Reach further. Now to the other side. Twist. Turn. Then do it again. Get up. Walk if you can. Extend your arms. Move your legs. Wiggle your feet. Do it standing or sitting – it doesn’t matter how because anything counts. Every little movement helps. It doesn’t have to be intense. And you don’t need a gym membership. You just need to keep moving those muscles. All 640 of them. The more your muscles move – the better they move.

MS is a bugger that doesn’t give up. So neither must you.

Make time for you and your muscles. Two minute here, ten minutes there. Move during the commercials while watching television (You never like them anyway!).

Make it your first priority. You will feel better. Feel positive. Muscles will loosen and let the energy flow throughout the body.

Remember, movement means mobility.

I’m so glad we had a chance to talk. Now we know what we need to do. So go ahead. Get started. Get going and move!

*Doug writes about MS and other nonsense with a humorous twist at myoddsock.com.

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About MSAA

As a national nonprofit organization, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is a leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a toll-free Helpline; award-winning publications including a magazine, The Motivator; website featuring educational videos and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.™ program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; a resource database, My MS Resource Locator; equipment distribution ranging from grab bars to wheelchairs; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; educational events and activities; MRI funding and insurance advocacy; and more. For additional information, please visit http://www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

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