MS Neurons: Positive Transmission

“Neurotransmission implies both a convergence and a divergence of information. First one neuron is influenced by many others, resulting in a convergence of input. When the neuron fires, the signal is sent to many other neurons, resulting in a divergence of output. Many other neurons are influenced by this neuron.” (Wikipedia)

They say that my neurotransmissions get messed up, that sometimes my signals get crossed or they don’t transmit at all. Call me stubborn, I’m just not willing to accept that. I am determined and will fight to keep my transmissions converging and diverging, delivering to my body the positive signals it needs to keep me happy and moving freely.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to participate in a whole new kind of transmission that reminded me that the positive we receive from others must be passed along, much in the same way as our neurons converge and diverge to influence each other.

Late on a Saturday afternoon, I along with 11 others, had the privilege of participating in a coached swim session by Canada’s Olympic Swim Coach, Randy Bennett, and 6 of his exceptional athletes (Ryan Cochrane, Hilary Caldwell, Stephanie Horner, Alexa Komarnycky, Alec Page, Julia Wilkinson, Blake Worsley).

We started with a quick warm-up and then moved into drills and technique. Over a two-hour period, one-by-one, each of the Randy’s swimmers took their turn at demonstrating a stroke and then having us follow them up and down the pool, as they moved freely through the water.

At the end of the session I knew I had spent time with a special group of people. A group of people who were determined and devoted to preparing their bodies for what lay ahead, the Olympics.

The next morning I meet with River, a new friend, whom I met at Crystal pool. She started swimming there a few months ago.

River has Multiple Sclerosis. She uses a wheelchair to make her way around on land. She has limited mobility in her legs and weakness in one of her arms. She is devoted and determined to make her body move.

We spent an hour together that morning, working on comfort in the water and trying to find ways to get Rivers legs moving with her body. Throughout that time I thought about what Randy and his swimmers taught me, how each of them worked to perfect their technique so they could take full advantage of each and every muscle in their body. I tried to relay this to River, encouraging her to focus on how each of her movements caused her body to either sink or float, or move forward or backward.

As I meet with River each week and we prepare our bodies for the future, we hope to learn what the Olympians have learned, and that is how to work the muscles in our bodies so we too move freely through the water.

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