The most beautiful day of the year! That was how everybody described the annual 3.5 miles MS Walk in Reston, VA. Team Sequoia assembled at The American Tap Room and ate a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and cereal. We have already had some requests for next year...sticky buns; eggs benedict. Hmmm, doesn't sound very healthy but what the heck, we are just about to walk 3.5 miles for MS and that's a good thing.
I heard Phyliss say "I'm stuffed" so she must have been anticipating her day-long quest for the finish line. After eating, we snapped a group Team Sequoia picture outside of ATR and head over to the registration table. Handing in our pledge money, we were ready to walk. Phyliss had a determined look on her face; everything was a go. We started our walking adventure at about 8:45. Some of Team Sequoia decided to do the 6 mile walk; the rest kept a faster pace and we lost them after the first 30 minutes. Phyliss' support team consisted of her husband Al, brother Gerry; friends Francine, Brenda, Andrea, Jamey, James, Bailey (the youngest at age 3) and her trainer, Woody.
Our first rest stop was across the street from Trader Joe's at about 9:45.It ended up being a bathroom break and time to take in some more much needed fluid and nutrition. Phyliss had just climbed the first hill of many and she was starting to get a taste of what the rest of the walk had in store for her. After our 10 minute break we were back on the trail again making good time.
Why the MS Walk
For those of you who don't know Phyliss, she has been diagnosed with MS for 23 years. In June of 2004, Phyliss was introduced to Woody McMahon of Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc. It was here that the seed of hope was planted. Woody explained to Phyliss that MS was not supposed to be the sole focus of her life. Expanding her world rather than shrink it would allow for better resolution of her illness. It was an important decision for Phyliss; either live the rest of her life like a cripple or start taking mental and physical steps to improve quality of life and ultimately cure herself of the disease. It would require re-thinking her life approach and adopting positive physical and mental changes.
In January 2006, Phyliss and Woody were talking about the importance of setting strong health and fitness goals for the New Year. Phyliss decided she needed a challenge to keep herself focused and motivated for the coming year. Surprising me at the next session she said,
"Woody, I decided to do the April 2nd 3.5 mile charity walk for MS." All he could say was "WOW! This really is a worthy challenge and I am proud you would even consider doing it." Completing the 3.5 mile MS Walk was an excellent health and fitness goal for her because Phyliss would be doing something good for herself by preparing for a specific, targeted event; she would also be doing something good for all people with MS.
Phyliss still had to embrace the idea and commit to doing the work. Completing the April 2nd MS Walk is all the proof Phyliss and others living with disabilities need. Her message today is an inspiring one. As Napoleon Hill stated in his book Think and Grow Rich; "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve." By adopting this concept, Phyliss has been able to empower herself; re-gain control of her body and improve the quality of her life.