I’m just back from a quick trip to see family. With 6 hours in cars, 8 hours on trains, and 17 hours on planes to get me there and back, the “quick” part relates to the short seven days I spent in the Sunshine State.
I’m now adjusting back to my home time zone and getting back to my old routines.
Getting Back on Track Takes Longer Than Getting Off
Most of us, likely, have experienced the slow reentry into normalcy after holidays or a bit of time away from our routines. Mealtimes, food choices, exercise regimes, sleep patterns, alcohol consumption, and so many more things fall in or out of place, and it can be tough to steady ourselves and move forward again.
As our wheaten terrier, Maggie, and I reached the quarter mark on our usual daily walk, I felt the previous week’s relaxed attitude toward exercise and physio in full force. Once slowed, it’s hard to regain pace.
Once stopped — as we were on a number of occasions by acquaintances inquiring about my trip — it was even more difficult to restart.
While less than optimal, this wasn’t an unexpected result.
MS Compounds the Force of Normal Inertia
Newton’s first law of motion states (in general) that an object at rest stays at rest while an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
I was the “object” in this scenario: I’d let myself slow down, and it was taking me a bit of time to ramp back up. At the same time, I needed to also be the “unbalanced force” that would get me moving again.
Sometimes, however, I experience a force besides inertia that slows me down or stops me entirely: multiple sclerosis (MS).
Seeing multiple sclerosis as an “unbalanced force” is titter-inducing to me when I think about it for more than a few seconds.
Newton uses the term to refer to the amount of energy one object or force has compared to another. Even when we are the object in motion, MS can prove to have the upper hand in that matchup.
But it’s the term “unbalanced,” in the sense of wobbling, spinning, crashing into walls, and sliding to the floor, that makes me think Sir Isaac mustn’t have had a full comprehension of how unbalancing such a condition can be.
MS can knock us off our intended course, override our intentions, and overcome our inertia. In those cases, it is the force that makes it difficult to get moving again.
The Only Way to Get Moving Is to Keep Moving
But we keep moving.
We either keep moving, albeit at a slower pace, or we start moving again. We just keep moving.
Writing this analogy reminds me of a public service announcement that the National MS Society produced a number of years ago about movement. It’s an oldie but a goodie when it comes to explaining MS to those who don’t know much about the disease, as well as an introduction to the cause.
The video ends with a profound (profound to me, at least) statement: “You move along with, because of, and in spite of … ”
They finish with “the great big, turning world.” But it could just have easily said, “and in spite of multiple sclerosis,” and it would be none the less true.
The laws of physics apply to inertia as it relates to multiple sclerosis and its force upon our bodies. What’s not taken into account, however, is that there is a force within all of us — and in many cases, there is no better modifier to that force than “unbalanced” — that gets or keeps us moving … along with, because of, and in spite of the great big, turning world.
Wishing you and your family the best of health.