First of all, my balance is so much better. I was never able to walk a straight line without losing my balance and now, on most days, my balance is great. Before starting the MSFC I was quite weak. It was not uncommon for me to take a break at the top of a small flight of stairs and to my amazement I can now run up the stairs. This may not seem like a big deal but when you try to race an 8 year old daughter to the top and legitimately lose every time, it's amazing to beat her. Funny, the first time I won, my daughter was so excited for me even though she lost. That was priceless.

I feel so wonderful having strength. The left side of my body was so much weaker that I had to spend extra time just strengthening that side but it has paid off.

Another thing is my eating. I was not able to eat much when starting. Maria worked hard on a nutrition plan with slowly adding in healthy protein and getting rid of milk products and eliminating gluten. This took about six weeks and now I am eating healthy and enjoying food finally.

This challenge has given me back the confidence I didn't know I lost. I have never felt comfortable attending any of my husband's military events. I was worried about what people might say about him having a wife that walked weird sometimes or why I wasn't there at some events. I am now able to stand and walk strong next to him ( most of the time! ).

The best for last is... I can play with my kids and it's not just board games anymore. My son is very athletic and loves the game of baseball. He has played since he was 4 and this game has really been our life for the past 9 years. I really have never been able to get out there and practice with him. So one night I was feeling good and thought we could toss the ball. Well, that turned into a backyard baseball game. It was my daughter and me vs. my son and the dog. At this moment I realized that I was actually playing with my kids instead of watching them play.

This challenge has given me the chance to become a better mother and wife. MS does not run my life anymore. My sister does the MS run every year in my name and her team is called Team Lindsey: Kicking multiple sclero-ass. I feel like this challenge has given me the boxing gloves to kick it.

Lindsey Barrett
2016 MSFC participant


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