AR: It’s hard to even describe the whole experience of preparing for a competition. Doing it with MS is very difficult, not only because of the physical hurdles you need to jump over but the emotions that come along with it.

During training I had days where my left leg would stop working mid-exercise, and I would have to step back, regain my strength, and then try it again. We would do forced reps and my trainer was always carefully monitoring me to make sure I never fell or overdid it.

Emotionally, it’s draining to have your body fight you on every movement you make. I regained some feeling in my left side, but the numbness was replaced by constant, fiery pain. Pushing through pain, exhaustion, and physical inability to do certain things is very humbling. In short, if I had to describe contest prep with MS in a simple phrase I’d say, “It’s a battle.”