Day 2

Yesterday started with months of pent-up excitement unleashed in a single moment as I kissed my wife and daughter and ran under the official MS Run the US Relay START banner, my journey towards Las Vegas finally underway. I rode a high all day. And the weather was gorgeous.

Today Ashley dropped me off by the mailbox where we stopped yesterday, basically in the middle of nowhere, and I unceremoniously started walking. There was a distinct haze settled on the horizon. Mountains that I could see yesterday clearly were barely discernible today. The wind was whipping and kicking up sand everywhere. This cast an eerie, almost somber glow over everything. The brightness of yesterday’s sky was absent. Today was not to be like yesterday.

And I just kept moving forward. That was the theme today. No surprise military bases. No reclining chairs or other interesting oddities as there were along yesterday’s route. I spent the entire day on one road: National Trails Highway, aka Route 66. Not a single turn. The monotony of the desert has a very odd effect on one’s perception. You cannot even see yourself moving forward. My immediate surroundings were unchanging. It was only after miles traveled that I would look up and see distant objects like mountains revealing that I was making progress. Life can often feel that way, like we’re standing still. But it’s just a matter of perspective. Always keep putting one foot in front of the other and you are making progress, even if you can’t see it.

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My back is holding up. There is some pain, but it’s doing pretty well considering. And the heat, which had been a major concern, has not been a problem thus far. Apparently I deal with heat better than I did when I was younger. Plus I’m moving fairly slowly and the last two days have had an amazing breeze. I’m also using armcoolers given to me by Recofit (www.recofit.co). I was very skeptical. I don’t like gear. But they are working really well, keeping my arms cool and protected from the sun.

There were two surprises today. The first was when Ashley told me there was a Dairy Queen about a mile past where I was finishing the day. I love a good Blizzard. That was a most welcome treat. Then there was a less welcome surprise when I took off my shoes: the hot spots I’d been feeling were all now blisters. Plus another I hadn’t even felt. 4 blisters. I’ve had about that many blisters total in my whole running career prior to today. Heat and sand are not my friends this week. But we keep moving forward.

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Today I ran for Sue Neal, a friend of a friend who was recently diagnosed with MS. Today was Sue’s birthday. Happy Birthday Sue! And stay strong. We’re out here running for you and everyone with MS.

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8 thoughts on “Day 2

  1. Keep up the great job Jay. Sounds like you are off to a great start. MS can often lead you down difficult and untraveled paths like the military base. And it often feels very blistery. And travelling forward despite the pain is a good representation of what we who live with MS go through. Thank you for running for us. Many blessings and continued safety on your journey!!!

  2. Hi Jay,
    I have been following you on this journey at least via social media all the way from India. Very inspirational and touching. Keep going buddy and hope the weather and most importantly your body is with you.. I know your mind & heart are already soaring at the finish line…
    All the best…
    Cheers,
    Ratna

  3. Happy Anniversary, Jay! You and Heather have a heart for living lives that serve each other and others so today is so appropriate. Your sacrifice is appreciated by so many.

  4. Lynne – Thank you. There is truly something appropriate and even poetic in this Relay and the journey. The movement that some are robbed of, the struggle and the pain that must be endured. It is no match to having MS, but I think it’s an appropriate symbol. Thank you so much for the support. Even though I couldn’t reply during my week, due to short time and limited connectivity, I did read these and it meant a lot to know those for whom I was fighting (as well as my friends and family) were rooting for me.

  5. Thank you Ratna,

    Everything did hold up well and it was an amazing week. I am still catching up and writing the rest of my reports of the journey. It means a lot to know that so many are and were following me even from a distance.

  6. Thank you Dolly. I think that’s exactly what happened. I found far more strength out there, both physical and mental, than I knew I had.

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