31 days. 201,738 steps.
In a nutshell, that was the story of my first time Walking My A.S. Off along with fellow spondylitis sufferers and their friends, advocates, allies, families, et cetera, from around the world.
I had no idea when I started walking that it would be such an emotional rollercoaster. From good days taking casual strolls with friends, old and new, to flare days where the pain was a 9 out of 10 on my personal pain scale, setting a step goal and walking to achieve it certainly lent itself to a lot of learning and self-reflection.
Weather changes, the impact of pushing myself just a little bit too far, what the difference between a sore knee or a sore hip, versus a sore back or a sore foot meant for my general quality of life… That my current treatment plan isn’t really working all that well… As the month went on, I spent time unpacking what that all meant, learning more and more with each passing day about what ankylosing spondylitis means, and will continue to mean, to my life.
And as soon as it began, it ended… and on May 31, I celebrated, along with two of my nearest dearest friends, with a nice cold beer at Bellwoods Brewery.
To those of you who supported me, who sponsored me, who walked with me, who asked how the walking was going, who cheered me on… thank you!
I couldn’t have done it without you.