My Secret to Conquering the Obstacles at MuckFest MS
Guest Post Written by Marie Moriarty-Puggi, a Philadelphia Mucker
How do you conquer all of those crazy, mucky obstacles while living with MS? It’s easy!
Ok, “easy” might be a bit of an exaggeration. However, it CAN be done, and I can prove it to you.
To start off, feel free to train, but truth be told I hate walking and I don’t train for this event. I was diagnosed with MS on February 6, 2010. It was a nightmare that was hard for me to come to terms with for close to two years. The first MS event I completed (yep, I didn’t train for this one either) was the MS Cape Cod 50-mile challenge. Let me tell you… I was no lightweight back in 2011, weighing in over 200 pounds. I cleared 45 miles and then blew my left ankle and calf out in the last haul, but still completed this insanity of a walk.
Since I hate walking (I believe I mentioned this), the following year, I started up my team for MuckFest MS—the Mucker Puckers. I did this event with my partner, sister, brother-in-law, and my cousin. I walked it and skipped maybe five obstacles. I thought I was going to die and then I said (first secretively in my head), “I have MS but there is no way in hell I’m dying in the mud! I might have MS, but MS does not have ME!”
If you’d like to conquer this hysterical obstacle course, here are my words of encouragement and advice: ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING! I am heading into my 6th year of doing MuckFest MS and am now almost 40 pounds lighter. Here are some pointers for a fun and successful day:
- Get a good pair of sneakers and be prepared to get dirty, real dirty.
- Pace yourself, because with MS it can get tiring quickly if you don’t conserve your energy. I save my energy for the obstacles I enjoy and the ones that I struggle with I skip; no shame in that game.
- Laugh at yourself, but even more, with your teammates. You will have a different sense of energy. It’s like floating on a cloud and it’s the few hours a year that I don’t feel like I have MS physically and emotionally. Humor will get you far on the day of the mud run.
- Stay hydrated, especially if you’re in a later wave when it’s warm out.
- Take your time. That golden bell will be waiting at the finish line for you to ring as many times as you want, because you earned as many rings as you want.
You will be exhausted at the end, but it’s so worth it when you’re told: YOU ARE A ROCK STAR! YOU DID IT! BE PROUD OF THIS ACCOMPLISHMENT!
MS can be paralyzing for many in different ways, but know that the recuperating you may need after MuckFest MS is worth it because—YOU DID IT! You’ve revealed your true secret to your family and friends: that you are a real-life-superhero.