What is the true price of squashed expectations? The approach I take in handling my MS involves having a positive attitude about my prognosis and future, even in the face of fairly grim statistics. I expect to stay well, I predict my symptoms will either stay as they are or recede, and I believe that while the disease will always be with me, there will come a time where where I rarely think about it.
Straightaway I can tell you that this way of thinking can and has bitten me in the ass. There are down and blue periods, there are setbacks (physical and mental), and by setting my sights high (perhaps unreasonably so to some) the lows can feel even lower than they should.
I'm keenly aware of the double-edged sword here, so much so that I feel a little cautious about how things have been going for the past month. Simply put, I've been feeling good. The miles have been steadily going by, and week by week I'm feeling stronger. There have even been days when I get a bit of the runner's high that I thought was gone forever. The coordination is still a struggle at faster paces, but my daily paces have been dropping steadily with the same effort. You can follow me on Daily Mile in the sidebar if you are the type who cares about that sort of thing.
All of this is happening before three upcoming races- the same three I had to skip last year when I was feeling quite the opposite. The carrot is dangling right in front of me, and I'm tempted to expect good finishing times and places. I think this even though racing feels so much tougher than it did before. The distress signals that go through my body when I really push it echo more loudly and deeper than they ever did during my peak years of racing, and with seemingly less to lose in backing off it's easier to succumb. Still, I'm anxious to climb into the ring and content to put off the feelings that might result until after the race. I still enjoy the challenge, and it's still a big part of who I am.