The MS Gym Podcast

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November 11, 2020  

Cultivating Community Through Coffee Chats

As the world continues to adjust to the ever-changing normal it's more important than ever to find connection in a safe community.

Today's podcast highlights the many benefits of The MS Gym Coffee Chats, yet another perk of being a member.

Two of the Coffee Chat hosts, Deb & Erica, join me today to discuss:

  • How the Coffee Chats came to be
  • How they keep the atmosphere light and positive despite the chaos going on around us
  • The connection forged between members
  • The benefits of Buddy Groups
  • How their own lives have been enriched as hosts

Links

The MS Gym

October 28, 2020  

ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL with Sylvia Longmire of Spintheglobe.net: Traveling Fearlessly with a Disability

Today's episode is all about wheelchair and accessible travel, but our guest, though an international expert in this field, brings way more to the table than just that. For instance,

She's an award-winning accessible travel writer, blogger and photographer, travel agent, author, entrepreneur and disability rights advocate.

She's a service disabled US Air Force veteran, full-time wheelchair user, single mother and former Miss wheelchair USA.

She's the founder of the award-winning Spin the Globe travel blog where she shares her traveling experiences from around the world in a power chair. She shares tips and tricks from her own travels, she gives fellow wheelchair users the tools and the confidence to create their own travel adventures without fear. Her travel articles have been featured in the New York Times, New Mobility Magazine and Lonely Planet and she's published three accessible travel-related books. And, I don't want to forget her 130 travel-related videos that she's created and produced from around the world. Videos led to voiceover work and that led to voiceover acting.  She is a powerhouse!  But there's more...

Though all Sylvia's accomplishments I've mentioned so far are related to what we're going to be talking about today, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention one of the most intriguing areas of her resume. Sylvia is an expert on Mexico's drug war and border security, and has been a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NBC Nightly News, to name a few. She's also been a guest expert on the History Channel's Brad Meltzer's Decoded in America's War on Drugs and has consulted for producers of the National Geographic Channel's Border Wars and Drugs Inc. series She is also an author of two books on these issues as well as hundreds of articles for Homeland Security publications.

To say that Sylvia is "more than her MS" wouldn't do her accomplishments any justice.

Join me now as I get the inside scoop from Sylvia on why travel post-disability IS possible, is way more accessible than you might imagine, and how your dream of traveling solo with a disability is absolutely achievable. 

EPISODE NOTES:

  • A quote to set the tone
  • Documenting everything
  • The psychological grieving process
  • Preparing for what's to come
  • Anticipating medical retirement
  • Keeping one foot in the door of her career
  • Pivoting from drug trafficking, border security and human trafficking to her passion for travel
  • Travel as a form of healing
  • Finding the confidence to travel alone with a disability
  • How a 16-hour flight to Dubai set the bar
  • Becoming a professional travel blogger and the birth of Spin the Globe
  • How doing your homework on a destination is key
  • Accessible travel 101
  • Identifying your limitations
  • Taking incremental steps to find your comfort zone
  • Traveling solo
  • Asking for help
  • The biggest travel-related setback she's encountered so far
  • Frankfurt and a broken scooter
  • Timing layovers to accommodate your ability
  • The country that is surprisingly more accessible than you might think
  • Patience, patience, patience
  • Personal boundaries
  • Projecting positivity while traveling in a wheelchair
  • Being grateful for what you CAN do
  • Wheelchair vanity. It's a thing.
  • When people look at your mobility device as cool
  • Arranging MS drug therapy with your travel schedule
  • Three things a traveler with a disability should never travel without
  • Being resourceful when hotel accessibility is a challenge
  • Wheelchair accessible cruising
  • Cruising during the Covid era
  • Expert advice to new wheelchair users
  • Adapt and overcome
  • Where to find all of Sylvia's resources

LINKS:

Spintheglobe.net - Sylvia's blog, travel consultations/opportunities, books (travel & drug war-related), photos, cool merch, media kit and more!

The MS Gym

Brooke Slick

 

 

October 14, 2020  

MS, Mayhem & Motherhood: A Journey from Unsuspecting to Expecting

The Canadian MS Society states that:

  • 77,000 Canadians live with the disease
  • MS can occur at any age, but is most often diagnosed between the ages of 20-49
  • MS affects individuals during the peak years for education, career and family-building
  • MS is 3 times more likely to affect women than men 

Today’s guest Melissa Hayes candidly shares her struggles and challenges with:

  • Her Diagnosis at age 23
  • Starting a new career in the midst of multiple MS symptoms
  • Having multiple relapses at once
  • Worsening of her disease while on a Disease Modifying Therapy (DMT)
  • Raising a toddler
  • Reaching out for help
  • Having to enlist the help of daycare
  • Family planning
  • The fear of the future

But the story doesn’t end there. Melissa also shares her goals and dreams for the future with her:

  • New DMT
  • Finding the MS Gym
  • Improvements of MS symptoms through daily exercise
  • Accountability and Buddy Groups
  • New baby
  • Gratitude
  • Belief for herself and her healing
  • Vision and her "WHY"

LINKS: 

THE MS GYM

October 5, 2020  

RADICAL ACCEPTANCE: Acknowledging your current reality at the present moment

I wanted to welcome you all back from summer break and give you a taste of what to expect this upcoming season. If you haven't already heard the announcement, Jodi Feltham, who already plays a huge role in the organization of the MS Gym behind the scenes will be joining me this season as a co-host. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement. Jodi's episodes will be focusing on member victories, struggles and lifestyle, while my episodes will continue to feature guests related to all things MS life. Add to that, freestyle episodes where Jodi and I bounce MS-related topics off each other, plus select recordings of Jodi's fan favorite, Motivation Mondays, and the new season is guaranteed to keep you tuning in. Let's get started with Jodi's Motivational Monday from this week titled radical acceptance.

 
EPISODE NOTES:
 
Is acknowledging your current reality at the present moment - whether it's what happened or what is happening
 
It does not mean:
 
- I approve of it
- I think it's fair
- I like it
- That I'm being passive or giving up
- I agree with what happened
 
Why practice radical acceptance?
 
- Fighting reality only creates suffering
- While pain is inevitable, suffering is optional
- Suffering is what you do with that pain and the interpretation you put on the pain.
- Acceptance brings opportunity to heal
- When we accept it than we can think about how we want to change it
- If we spend all our energy fighting it then we have no energy left to change it
- What reality are you having difficulty accepting?
 
LINKS:
 
 
July 31, 2020  

CLINICAL TRIALS, MEDICAL TREATMENT AND THE BLACK MS COMMUNITY: A History Lesson with Dr. Mitzi Joi Williams, Damian Washington & Jenna Green

EPISODE NOTES:

I recently had the opportunity to be part of a round table discussion that focused on how the medical history of yesterday affects the decisions of black patients in the MS community today.

At the table we have neurologist, Dr Mitzi Joi Williams aka, Dr. Mitzi, who was recently part of the MS Gym Summit; MS advocate, Damian Washington, who is also the creator of the popular YouTube vlog No Stress MS; along with MS advocate, blogger and Instagram phenom Jenna Green, creator of the blog Full of Grit and Grace.

Take a listen as Dr. Mitzi unpacks the complicated history of medical distrust for us.

RESOURCE LINKS:

DR. MITZI JOI WILLIAMS

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mitzi:  Joi Life Wellness Group

For more information on Dr. Mitzi, visit her personal website, to book her as a speaker, purchase her books, or read her blog, at https://drmitzijoimd.com/

Instagram: @thenerdyneurologist

DAMIAN WASHINGTON

YouTube:  No Stress MS

Instagram: @damianwashington

Twitter:  @deedubs57

JENNA GREEN

Website: Full of Grit and Grace 

Instagram:@thejennagreen

Mentioned in this episode:

Book: Medical Apartheid - The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

Documentary: 13th

THE MS GYM

Host: Brooke Slick

 

June 29, 2020  

AN UPDATE AND AN INVITATION!

Hi everyone! It's Brooke, and I'm popping on to let you know about an exciting project we've been working on, and, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of our move to an interview format of the podcast.  I'm going to share some fun little statistics about the progress we've made and who we're reaching with our content. I'll also be sharing a link to registration to The MS Gym Thrive Summit below. So let's get started!

LINKS:

Link to MS Gym Thrive Summit Registration

The MS Gym

Brooke Slick

May 5, 2020  

LIVING IN THE “NOW” AND “NOT YET”: Why Crystal Balling is Futile

One of the many advantages to belonging to the MS Gym community is getting to listen to Jodi Feltham's weekly Motivation Monday video on the MS Gym's Facebook page. This week's episode of Motivation Monday was so thought provoking, I knew it was one that our podcast listeners needed to hear. Now, let's put down our crystal balls and let Jodi put things into perspective for you.

EPISODE NOTES:

-Getting stuck in the "used tos"

-If only I had or hadn't

-Questioning past treatment choices

-Comparing your past condition with your present capabilities

-Stealing present victories

-The danger of comparison

-Living in the future

-Crystal balling for negatives and positives

-Will I be able to XYZ?

-Unproductive patterns

-The futility of future gazing

-Results obsessed or efforts focused?

-Are you proud of what you've done today?

-A timeless quotation that applies to life with MS.

LINKS:

The MS Gym

Host: Brooke Slick

April 24, 2020  

COVID-19: THE UNEXPECTED EQUALIZER

In this episode, we'll take a look at the world's response to COVID-19 through the eyes of someone with MS or a chronic illness, plus 15 predictions for life post-COVID.

EPISODE NOTES:

- MSrs watching the meltdown

- Having to think the unthinkable

- The lengths you have to go to survive

- What once was a given is now a privilege

- Watching it all go up in flames

- Sacrifices made

- Logistical hardships

- Dreams on hold

- COVID-19 doesn't give a damn

- Just another war story

- Before and after landmarks

- The gifts of unfettered time

- Are you fearful or excited about life post-COVID?

- 15 predictions for life post-COVID

- What lessons will you have learned?

- Time is a gift

LINKS:

The MS Gym

Brooke Slick

 

March 21, 2020  

CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19: Weighing Your Risks with MS

In this impromptu episode, I'll be sharing information that I've gained regarding the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, and its impact on those who have MS.

The Coronavirus is the potentially deadly virus that reportedly surfaced in China in December of 2019 and has now swept the globe in what is now considered pandemic proportions. With this episode, I'm hoping to arm you with information that will quell your fears and help you to safely move forward as we all navigate this hopefully once in a lifetime occurrence. Just like MS, this virus knows no border, so we're ALL impacted. Please listen as I do my best to inform you about what may or may not put someone with MS at higher risk of contracting or fighting off the virus.

EPISODE NOTES:

-The interview that inspired this episode

-Dr. Aaron Boster of the Boster Center for Multiple Sclerosis and actor and MS advocate Damian Washington

-The risks that may or may not be specific to people with MS

-Does MS put you at higher risk for contracting the virus?

-Will someone with MS struggle fighting off the disease

-What symptoms to look for

-The incubation period

-How you can contract the virus

-Where the virus likes to hide

-Clean everything!

-6 tips on how to avoid contracting the virus

-Who is it high risk?

-The risk for people with MS

-The list of which MS drugs put MSrs at the highest risk

-Injectables, pills and infusions

-Damian and Dr. Boster's Q&A

LINKS:

UPDATED CDC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MASKS!

INTERVIEW - Coronavirus/COVID-19 - MS Views and News – with Damian Washington & Dr. Aaron Boster

Damian Washington’s NoStressMs - YouTube Channel

MS Views and News - YouTube Channel

Dr. Aaron Boster - YouTube Channel

The Boster Center for Multiple Sclerosis

The MS Gym

Host: Brooke Slick

March 11, 2020  

INSIDE BUDDY GROUPS: Connection, Accountability and Support

In this week's episode you'll get an exclusive look at one of the many advantages of being part of the MS Gym Membership Community. It's called Buddy Groups and it may be just what you've been looking for.

Before I do that, I want to back this up a little bit and add a little more clarity as to the difference between The MS Gym and the MS Gym Membership Community.

First, the MS Gym is the world's largest online provider of FREE neurologically-based exercises and movement methods designed to use the power of neuroplasticity to re-train the brain to move differently in order to correct unhealthy movement patterns and improving communication between nerves, muscles, and joints. All of this FREE information is easily available on The MS Gym website, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

Second, The MS Gym Membership Community, which currently has over 1,600 members, is a prescription-based opportunity with such benefits as MS-specific movement plans and exercises tailored specifically to your needs. Programs such as Sitting Strong, Movement Camp, Companion Guides, and BGB Bootcamp, in both standing and sitting versions, are just a few of the detailed, customized programs that you won't see anywhere else and are specifically designed to reteach your brain how to build alternative neuromuscular pathways, basically, to work around the nerves damaged by MS so you can get your life back.

Another fantastic benefit is the new MS Gym app where you can access all of the programs I just mentioned anywhere you go. Right from your phone.

At the core of the Membership Community is a private Facebook group called The Members Only Corner where members from around the world can interact with each other for advice, support, and direction. It's from this community that Buddy Groups came to light. It was a perfect opportunity for members to form small groups of like-minded individuals to meet up through video software such as Facebook Messenger and Zoom to chat and even exercise together. A buddy group can be based on your location, whether it be a part of the US, the UK, Australia etc, your interests like travel, knitting, crossword puzzles and the like, or it could be based on your MS-rooted problem area like foot drop, balance, wheelchair challenges, or dexterity. It can truly be whatever you want it to be. If you're interested in creating or joining a buddy group and you're already a member of The Membership Community, just do a search for #buddygroup in Facebook's Members Only Corner (MOC) and you'll find all the instructions and guidelines you'll need. It's all right there for you. Easy peasy.

Here's the fun part and the reason for today's episode. I was fortunate enough to have the members of  the original buddy group, the MSfits, agree to allow me to interview them all at the same time. I wanted to know exactly what goes on behind the scenes. What a typical buddy group session looks like, and sounds like. What are they talking about? What are they doing? How long do they last? I wanted to know it all and that's exactly what I got!

EPISODE NOTES:

-What is a Buddy Group?

-The difference between the MS Gym and the MS Gym Membership Community

-The Members Only Corner

-How Buddy Groups connect

-Finding your people

-Which software to use

-What happens during these meetups

-How often do you meet

-Using the programs from the MS Gym to exercise together

-Making an effort to stay organized, but leaving room for fun

-Cheering each other on

-Checking in each day

-Finding motivation from each other when you thought you couldn't

-Becoming a family

-It's not always about commonalities

-Dedication to getting better

-The length of meetups

-Sharing the good and the bad

-Using tips and tricks from the MS Gym programs

-Finding comfort in connection

-Meeting in person at The MS Gym Summit

-Avoiding isolation through Buddy Groups

-Giving a Buddy Group a try even if you don't think you need one

-Being accountable for each other

-The conversation is not always about The MS Gym

LINKS:

Join The MS Gym Membership Community

The MS Gym

Host: Brooke Slick

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