The following is from Jerry Searcy, husband to Monica Searcy, a participant in the MS Fitness Challenge.
The M.S. fitness challenge has changed our lives in so many ways it is really hard to believe. If you would have told me all these changes were possible in only 3 months, I probably would have told you that you were dreaming. When my wife first brought it up I didn't think too much about it, I really didn't think my wife would have the energy to keep it up very long. It turns out that I was wrong, and that's not something I say very often, seriously ask my wife, she will tell you. I watched her do more and more research and become more and more excited about it, from diet to exercise. I started to buy into it a little bit, but since talk is cheap I remained skeptical. Well, I was told that my wife would have a better chance if I joined the gym also and worked out with her, then Brad Kloss, the owner of Fitness Evolution offered me a free 3 month membership to help keep my wife motivated, how could I turn that down?
Of course I didn't and now only 3 months later both my wife and I are lifting weights every other day and doing 30 and 60 minutes on cardio machines that neither of us could do 5 minutes on the first time we went to work out. We have each lost a considerable amount of weight and my wife has more energy than at any time since I have known her (I met her post M.S. diagnosis). It is amazing all the everyday chores she is doing now like laundry and washing dishes (I wasn't even aware she knew how to do them) just kidding darling! Seriously though, there were times my wife got home from work and was so exhausted or in so much pain, she just had to go to bed. I barely remember that woman, this one will tell me she is in pain, her legs are tingling or other M.S. symptoms are occurring , but she doesn't go to bed, she toughs it out because she is stronger physically and mentally (not letting the M.S. control her and dictate what she must do). I thank David Lyons everyday for his decision to not let M.S. run his life, and to help others do the same. He has been an inspiration to my wife and now she is my inspiration. I mean if she can do it, what the heck am I going to use for an excuse?
One of the biggest (and funniest) changes in our household is my wife's new found energy to go downstairs on a whim. My step-daughter had gotten really used to Mom not going down to check if her room was clean. My wife would always threaten her, but the girl always knew the chances were pretty slim she would really check it. So more often than not, she would gamble and swear it was clean, when in reality it was far from it. Well, times have changed, the girl that used to complain to me that Mom couldn't tuck her in at night, now actually complained to me that she doesn't really care for Mom coming down to do laundry all the time and doing spot checks on her room. Now when her Mom asks her if her room is clean and she says "yes" when Mom threatens to go check the room, the girl takes off running saying "I better go double-check".
One of the most unexpected things I would say is the giddiness in my wife's eyes at times, one example was her picking up a pair of jeans at a consignment shop. She has taken kids' clothes there for so many years, it felt wonderful get something for herself that fit and was a really good deal. It is so cute watching her pull out her old wardrobe that she is suddenly fitting into again, and what makes it even sweeter is that she has all this extra energy to do it.
We eat much better now, and although I miss my bacon double-cheeseburgers, I don't miss the way I used to feel. I might complain I am sore after leaving the gym or the day after a workout, but that is better than being sore everyday of your life. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you David & Kendra Lyons, thank you Brad Kloss, and thank you Monica Searcy!