A Moment of Personal Triumph

Written by on July 16th, 2013 – 5 Comments

On the May long weekend, my husband and I decided to hike Quarry Rock. It’s a part of the Baden Powell Trail, located in Deep Cove, which is 13 km from downtown Vancouver. It’s a punishing, steep and winding 8 km hike to the Quarry Rock view point. The trail is a mass of roots, loose rock, slippery sections, rough stairs (some of which are hip high!) and bridges. Conditions are such that if you’re like me and have no proprioception (and therefore, no balance) you cannot allow your attention to stray from you feet for a single second.

The trail head begins with a climb that is 45 degrees straight up. I stood looking up at it and thinking “WOW!” and wondering if I was out of my mind. My second thought (the one that usually gets me into trouble) was “Well…as long as I’m here…”

We took our time, taking lots of little breaks because as I was climbing, I was loosing feeling in my legs. (That’s the fun part of having spinal cord damage!) It made me a bit dizzy, but I sucked it up and kept moving. There was no way I was going to give up.

An hour and twenty minutes later, we were looking at this:

Deep Cove (left) and up Indian Arm. (right) We rested at the summit to cool off, down some water and fuel up for the return trip with a snack. My black Lab, Indiana Jones, found a mud puddle and wasted no time plunging into it up to his armpits. That’s a Lab for ya!

This is my favourite photo from the day, an old dead tree used as a sign post near the summit:

The hike back was equally as challenging, especially since my right hiking shoe was eating a hole in my heel and my knees were screaming. Every step down was painful, (understatement of the year!) but I got through it. The view was *so* worth it and I am glad I did this hike while I am still able-bodied enough to manage it. There’s a certain satisfaction in pushing yourself to do things that are hard. It feels just that much better when you persevere and succeed.

I am proud of myself. Anything is possible!


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5 Responses

  1. F.U.MS says:

    That’s amazing. Good for you for pushing yourself. Anything really is possible! You should be proud of yourself. Nothing is easy and when you have MS, everything seems just a little bit harder. Great pictures as well.


    • Lelainia says:

      Thanks Aaron. I love to hike the wilds and I will do it as long as my legs work. I think you must have missed my post awhile back-I found out in late November that I actually have NMO and not MS, it’s a rare but somewhat similar demylenating disease, often mistaken for MS. Fun times! (NOT.)

  2. Miriam1998 says:

    Hi Lelainia, great post! And a really great thing to do! I think it’s good to try out things you’re not sure about, and it’s such an incredible feeling to see how much you’re able to do… really inspiring! When i first read your post i couldn’t help smiling – i did something very similar a few days earlier and you pretty much wrote down my experiences and feelings about it. It’s always good to know that you’re not the only one, even when it’s about good things 😉 And i totally agree with Aaron, those pictures are amazing!
    Thank you a lot for sharing 🙂

    • Hi Miriam1998,
      I am a firm believer that it’s important to do as much as we can for as long as we can. It’s always interesting to push yourself. I think it helps you learn more about what you are capable of and often you’ll surprise yourself! Good for you for getting out there too! Thanks for your comments-I appreciate it!

  3. Aby says:

    I had practicaly the same thing on a camping trip on a 3 mile hike. None of my friends knew about my MS, so as we were hiking, i was obviously the one trailing behind since it was difficult for me. and as you were saying about not feeling your legs and your knees giving in i was feeling the same thing. unfortunatly i could not take any rests since my friends kept going and were unaware of my problem, so i obvioulsy pushed to keep up with them. unfortunately i could not, but luckily i had a friend who noticed and stayed back with me and helped me the rest of the way. although even with the help my legs completely gave in to the point where i could not stand. My friend carried me the rest of the way up. Had me feeling like crap but it was amazing when we got to the waterfalls. 🙂
    I was carried all the way back down since my legs were still ”dead”. As I read your story it really reminded me of my trip this summer! I am glad you pushed yourself instead of giving up.

    The only thing I regret is not going to some parts since I could not get across or to them cause of my horrible balance and inability to run.

    I have a question for you though. I am 19 and don’t take any of the medications and am feeling ”great” (my definition of great is the fact i can still walk xD) lol how old are you,do you take the meds and would you prefer if people were ignorant of your condition and treated as any other ”normal” person?