Multiple Sclerosis and long distance running doesn’t go hand-in-hand, do they? Try to imagine, not being able to feel your legs and trying to run…
E:60 Catching Kayla
Here’s a story as inspiring as the story of Cliff Young, which you can read more about here.
ESPN posted a short video online in November, about Kayla Montgomery called E:60 Catching Kayla. What happened at the 50 second mark left me speechless, but the end is the best.
In October 2010, Kayla Montgomery was diagnosed with MS, Multiple Sclerosis, which resulted in nerve damage. An incurable but treatable disease. When she runs, her legs went completely numb. MS is a disease, where the immune system of the body attacks its nerve cells.
My legs… My legs… Where’d they go? Please help me find my legs…
As the temperature of her body rises the symptoms returns temporarily. During long distance runs, Kayla Montgomery doesn’t feel her legs. “It usually starts in my toes and works its way up to my waist; it just stays like that for the rest of my run or race.” At the finish line, her coach Patrick Cromwell has to catch her from collapsing. “She needs help because she’s helpless for a few minutes.”
In an interview with Runners World, Cromwell said: “She doesn’t run to get a scholarship. She doesn’t run to get trophies. She doesn’t run to win,” said her coach Patrick Cromwell. “It’s a personal journey for her.”
From slowest in her team to running star
“One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.” – Albert Schweitzer
When Kayla Montgomery started, she was one of the slowest in her team. She was determined to become faster, and now she is one of the fastest girls in North Carolina.
In the interview with Today.com, Kayla’s father Keith Montgomery said: “I don’t know how much faster she can get. I never thought she could get this fast, but at this point, I’ve quit doubting.”
What we can learn from Kayla Montgomery
I bet that you have realized as I have, that many of the obstacles you have are very small compared to the obstacle Kayla Montgomery is facing. I love this story, there’s so much we can learn from it.
Remember Napoleon Hill’s quote: “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” And Kayla possesses them all. She was patient when she couldn’t feel her legs for eight months, she was persistent in her training and you know the rest.
Live in the moment. “I wanted to make the most out of every day I could.” We spent so much time planning and worrying about the future. What we should do is living more in the moment than we do on planning and worrying. We don’t know how much we have left in this physical world.
Here’s what her teammate, Avery Franklin said when interviewed by Runners World: “It’s just really inspiring to know that she’s not guaranteed anything, she could wake up one morning and not be able to run anymore, so she really gives her all every single practice. She just makes the best out of everything and never gets upset, or at least doesn’t ever show it.”
Eckhart Tolle, the most spiritually influential person in the world according to Watkins Review, reminds us: “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.”
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