An Olympic-sized oath
A Yank’s Life With MS
WOW! Thank you, London, for an absolutely amazing Olympic spectacle.
I've been in the throes of an MS “thing” this past couple of weeks, so watching the most gifted athletes in the world competing for glory and gold in your fair city has been a welcomed diversion.
While an Anglophile at heart, I’ll admit that even I didn’t understand the entirety of the opening ceremonies. But it was good fun all in all.
One thing that struck me while watching the opening media volley is something I’ve seen before, but never heard it in the way I did that night. In 1920, a young Belgian named Victor Boin first grabbed hold of the Olympic flag and recited the Olympic Oath.
"In the name of all competitors, I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules that govern them, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams.”
Although I remember thinking I could one day be an Olympian when I first saw the games from Munch on a small television in 1972, my skills never got me much past your typical youth league sports. Still, I wonder at the mental and physical toughness of those chosen by their countries to represent every four years.
Now I wonder – with my body rebelling and our disease overtaking me from time to time – if I shouldn’t come up with my own version of the oath. Each of us, to one extent or another, is something of an ambassador or 'voice' of Multiple Sclerosis.
Shouldn’t we, therefore, consider promising one another to live our lives true to ourselves and to those around us?
In the true spirit of mankind and in honour of all of those who live with MS, maybe we should swear to ourselves and to one another, to live our lives with purpose and grace.
We should educate when it is called for, assist when we can and accept assistance when our bodies cannot answer the bell for the next round; this could be our oath. I’ll admit that our events won’t be as spectacular as those of the Olympiad.
Getting the kids (or ourselves) dressed, making it through work on a “bad day” or humbly accepting care when needed aren’t going to get us on the prime-time, tape-delayed highlight reel. They do, however, garner us the respect and admiration of the rest of our community.
It is an honour to be your teammate in this daily competition of Life With Multiple Sclerosis. It is not a team I would have joined of my own accord but, until the medics and researchers figure out how to make this team obsolete, I will, in the name of all “competitors” take part in this game of life… 100%, Every Day! We all have earned a gold medal in these games.
Wishing you and your family the best of health.
You can also follow us via our Life With MS Facebook page on Twitter and on the EverydayHealth.com “Life With MS” Blog and our Very Special new monthly blog for the National MS Society And don’t forget to check out TrevisLGleason.com.
It is an honour to be your teammate in this daily competition of Life With Multiple Sclerosis.Trevis Gleason