My dreams about climbing were severely challenged shortly after I turned 21. One day, I unexpectedly found myself extraordinarily weak, fatigued, and unwell. I became increasingly incapacitated and eventually became dependant on a motorised chair to get me around. Four years later, I was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. I was devastated.
One day, I realised that I needed to do something to change my condition. I took a radical approach to my diet and exercise. After a few years of consistent rehab/gym work and dietary help, I have reached the point of being able to tramp and climb again.
This experience has taught me that I need goals. The process of regaining and maintaining mobility takes a lot of work. To stay motivated through the ups and downs, I need goals that I’m passionate about and inspire me. In my case, these goals mostly involve mountains or rock faces.
I suspect other people with MS need goals too, if they are to stay fit and healthy. However, dream trips and exciting goals often cost money, and this is an obstacle. That’s why I set up the Mastering Mountains Expedition Grant.
The Mastering Mountains Expedition Grant is designed to help people cover the costs of an overseas trip that they are excited about. We pay some or all of the trip costs and have partnered with World Expeditions, who provide the trips. With this grant, we hope to show others what’s possible with MS and bring hope. Applicants should be excited about reaching into their community, to spread hope and talk about their experiences.
In my next post I will tell you about a trip I recently took to Australia, and how goals have helped me. More than anything, I want my story, combined with the support of Mastering Mountains, to give you hope.
Applications for the Mastering Mountains Expedition Grant are open till 30th June, click on the link for further information and application form.