Written by on August 19th, 2014 – 3 Comments

20140812_164053We all know that at times, with MS, it can feel like we are weighed down by it. Sometimes the simple things become more difficult and time consuming. So when can we feel completely free? When do we feel thoroughly uninhibited and free? Can we? The answers are different for everyone and I certainly can’t speak to anyone else’s answers but I can give you mine. For me, I do think I can be uninhibited and free.  I feel utterly free in the water. Water is the equalizer for me!


I love water. It’s as simple as that. I always have water with me. I drink water like it’s going out of style. More than that though, I have always loved being in the water. I don’t think one can grow up surrounded by all means of water and not enjoy it to some level. Lakes, rivers, creeks, oceans, pools, I don’t discriminate. I’ve spent time swimming in each of those places. Camping during the summer meant I could spend the entire day in the water if I wanted. I routinely did, with my grandmother only calling me in for meals. The bathing suit rarely left my body; it would be under my t-shirts and shorts just waiting to be put into action. My parents would take us to the lake in the evenings in the summer and I could swim for a couple hours while they waited patiently on the banks. I will forever be grateful for the swimming lessons my mama insisted we take when we were young. They have served me well.

Lately I have taken back to the pool with vengeance. I want to be fit and eat cleaner.  Having said that, running and walking can be somewhat difficult and painful for me. I have to keep vigilant that one foot is falling in front of the other. I have to be on alert that my left foot doesn’t drag and trip me up. I am not saying I am ungrateful for the ability to walk, just that it can make exercise difficult. Isn’t the goal of exercise to stay fit, but also somewhat enjoy what you’re doing? So the perfect answer for me was to turn to the pool.

Diving in, holding my breath, and skimming the surface means freedom for me. My strokes easily carry me from one end of the pool to the other. I feel strength in the pool that I don’t feel outside of it. The constant aches in my legs can be forgotten as they help propel me forward. My stroke of preference is the freestyle or crawl stroke. I use my swim cap as a statement. Goggles are a necessity so my poor eyes don’t burn and I stay in my lane. I didn’t used to think they were needed, but now that I started using them I have seen the light, literally. I can easily spend an hour or more going back and for without too much effort. Sometimes I’ll time myself just for fun using the posted pool side digital clock. I am not overly concerned about my exact times, I am just glad to be in the water. I am glad that for that precious hour of time, I feel like pre MS me. I don’t have to worry about my foot dropping or that I might trip or anything else my MS can cause. I can let my worries slip away with each forward stroke. I am entirely uninhibited. Free.

I will keep working at the pool to increase my fitness level and I will certainly endeavour to eat cleaner. I will continue to make goals and work to achieve them. Will I make mistakes? Will there be slip ups? Undoubtedly, but I’ll keep at it. I want to keep that uninhibited feeling within my reach for as long as I possibly can. So while I keep my goals in view, what are the things you’re keeping in view? What gives you that uninhibited feeling, because lets be real, we all deserve that feeling!

– Loribelle

3 Responses

  1. Giovanni Profeta says:

    Hello, I’m from Venezuela, and even tough the distance, we got a lot in common, I was diagnosed with MS on 2010, my whole life went upside-down as you might guess, I was a freediver/spearfisher/swimmer, I was into a lot of sports, well, MS arrived and after a year of not doing anything, I decided to get again into the water to swim, WOW, what a feeling, it was like you said, I felt like my pre-MS self, since I was very young, the water was like my church, my space, my friend.

    When I am on the pool/sea, I feel so alive, glad to be again doing what I trully like, someone on the pool asked me “why are you always smiling while training?”, I said ” there’s nothing like doing what you love”.

    Loribelle, awesome post. Keep on doing what you’re doing.


  2. Loribelle says:

    Thanks Giovanni! I am so glad this post resonated with you! Water is freedom for us and sometimes we just need something that is ours! A place of comfort and safety. I hope you can keep up with your swimming and I will certainly smile more when I am in the water knowing there is someone like-minded about my place of freedom!

    • Giovanni Profeta says:

      Hi Loribelle, yes indeed, it’s my place of freedom too, I found a new way of getting in touch with the sea, Sailing, I am in sailing classes and I trully love the feeling of moving without the engine roaring, a huge sense of freedom and achivement, when the dreadfull diagnose came, I saw a lot of my dreams coming to pieces in front of me including this one. Now, thanks to the pool, I’ve found the inner strenght to overcome my new condition and do what I love, being on the water.