Meet Spike, Philadelphia Mucker and MS Warrior
“You might look at someone, and think, ‘You don’t look like you have MS.’
But what does someone with MS look like? We look like you!”
Walter Clark (his friends call him Spike) knows he might not immediately appear like he is living with multiple sclerosis. But, it has been nearly a decade since he received his diagnosis. Since then, his life has never been the same. He hasn’t let that stop him from living his life though, and from doing all he can to support others who are fighting the same fight.
He began giving that support, and participating in National MS Society events, the spring after his diagnosis. That started with Walk MS and led him to MuckFest® MS Philadelphia the following year! He admits he wasn’t fully prepared for that first run, but that didn’t stop him from coming back again the next year, and the next…and the next!
“After doing it, there’s such a sense of accomplishment. I completed that! You feel great about yourself, and it’s going towards people who are living with this horrible disease.”
Spike loves feeling this sense of accomplishment personally, but also loves to see it on the faces of his teammates as they cross the finish line. And what a team it is! “Spike’s Wolfpack” started with only Spike and two friends, but it’s now grown to include many other family and friends.
They’re in it together!
“I always look forward to seeing people’s smiling faces at the end. They’re so proud. I like seeing everyone getting dirty and laughing and having that comradery. Or that smile when you accomplished something you didn’t think you could.”
He remembers one time specifically where his friend’s mom, who was very afraid of heights, balked when she saw Mt. Muck-imanjaro. She didn’t know if she could tackle the obstacle, but the whole team came together to cheer her on and support her. She made it to the top, then completed the obstacle (and the run!) with a huge smile on her face.
That is what MuckFest MS is all about for Spike: tackling your fears. And of course, having a lot of fun in the mud!
Other than Mt. Muck-imanjaro, Spike also loves the Flying Muckers zip line, The Spinner, Swingset, and Big Balls. (Whatever gets him the muddiest!) Last year, he even did a huge belly flop to start off the run with a splash!
For first-time Muckers, he recommends staying as active as you can leading up to the race. He also recommends bringing extra clothes, a pair of flip flops and a towel to clean up with after you get down in the muck. Come, get ready to get mucky, and know that you’re doing an amazing thing by participating.