Being the Best You Can Be

Declan Groeger
Written by
Declan Groeger

It’s Sunday afternoon and here I am sitting nice and snug at the Finish Line of the Cork Mini Marathon. The course extends to approximately 6km. Just about 21 minutes after it started a young lady raced over the finish line and apparently did it with ease. Others soon followed suit and then the droves started crossing the line. My own daughter, Elaine, crossed in just under 50 minutes. Her own personal best! There were over 10,000 participants in the race, a new record for Cork. All the participants in the Mini Marathon had one thing in common: they wanted to be the best they could be.

There I was sitting in my comfortable wheelchair and watching all these people running, walking or almost crawling past the finish line. It made me think. Was I jealous of these athletes? Was I jealous of their physical ability? Honestly no, I was not. I was neither athletic nor physical even before my diagnosis but I was always pragmatic. I never wished for things I couldn’t have or to do things I couldn’t do. But the one thing I have in common with all those athletes and athletes all over the world—I want to be the best I can be.

Multiple sclerosis has robbed me of a lot and only people living with MS and their families fully understand the extent of the loss. For me, it has not and will not rob my spirit. It will not kill my aspiration to be the best I can be.

My “best’ now is different than my “best” 20 years ago. Multiple sclerosis forces us to be flexible with our targets and to be able to change, but we have to maintain our targets and goals as best as possible. Goals and targets are very important and they help keep me going. Consider a goal for your experience because without one, you may never achieve what you want to. That is, for many, being your best.

What does “being the best you can be” mean to you? Has that changed since your diagnosis?

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