An 18 year old girl who was diagnosed with MS about 3 years ago is currently running remarkable times in cross-country. She talks about blocking out symptoms of MS such as numbness while running, until she reaches the finish line, at which time her legs collapse on her. Here's a link to the story:
In reading her story and watching her race, it's obvious she has extreme focus. I think that is key to as much success as possible - extreme focus - all out as long as possible.
Recently my college choir was on their annual spring tour and they came through Colorado. They were amazing - I really loved to hear them and to see my college choir director again... old meaning that was long ago - I swear he looks like he never ages.
At the end of the concert, as per tradition, alumni get to go up and sing the school's "Kokosing Farewell" song with the choir. The Kokosing is a river which runs right next to the Kenyon College campus, just for context. It's a song sung at the end of many concerts, by many groups at Kenyon, so it has a lengthy tradition.
I wondered how it was going to work with me going up to sing with the choir, assuming they still had their tradition, which they did. I figured things would all work out. And they did - it was a matter of focus.
I walked up with Bart the walker and figured out a place to stand. Stop. Stand? I don't know when I last performed standing! But it's how things happen... there I was, standing, and we were all ready to sing... except I had to lock the wheels on the walker (good thing I just got them fixed!) so Bart didn't escape as he has been known to do very recently.
It definitely wasn't the best standing position, but there I was, suddenly realizing, dang! The Bioness beepers are still on and at any moment could send a signal to my leg to move. Not good. Focus.
I blocked it out. It's not a long song, but it was a long time for me to focus. I blocked out the Bioness. My body wanted to bend but I fought it with the focus of singing, even though I really wanted to lean. My mom took a video and you can't tell, but by the end of the "focused" singing, my arms were shaking. Once done, I had to walk back to my seat. Not a pretty walk. The focus was done and I was tired of standing.
I don't know that I planned on standing - I figured things would work out somehow. But I'm glad I did - it's easier to move with the music that way, and sitting always makes me feel like I'm separated from the group a bit.
The Kokosing Farewell - beautiful.
Much of what seems impossible is indeed possible.