MS Fitness Challenge Podcast

MS Fitness Challenge

Your source for the best, most inspiring, and up-to-date information concerning all things related to MS, fitness, and health. Tune in weekly to get insights from real people who have MS as well as industry experts who understand the disease and how fitness, diet, and wellness all factor into healthy MS lifestyle. Together we can keep pressing, keep striving, and conquer MS.

Jun 07, 2022

Grace & The Great Divide: The Grace Ragland Story

Kris Wheeler is an award-winning documentary filmmaker currently in the production of a feature-length documentary about an MS Warrior who spent a lifetime defying odds while impacting countless lives with joyous inspiration. The film is titled Grace & The Great Divide-The Grace Ragland Story. The film tells the story of the inspiring life of Grace Ragland, who, at age 57, raced time and disease in a seemingly impossible pursuit when she entered the world’s most epic mountain bike race, the grueling 2,800-mile Great Divide Mountain Bike Race. The Great Divide would prove to be the defining adventure of Grace’s life, but not for the reason most would think. The story of Grace & The Great Divide is so much more than what one might assume at first glance. It's a deep dive into self-perceptions, how we define our self-worth, the things we're running to, running from, and why.

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May 24, 2022

Nikki Reed-Feisty Challenger Of The Status Quo

Nikki Reed has been managing MS for 17 years now. She was discharged from the Army National Guard after receiving her diagnosis in 2005. For the first 8 years of diagnosis, she was still running marathons and teaching high-intensity fitness classes. Around 2014 she went through the abandonment of herself and her 5 year old son, divorce, getting unjustly fired from her job of 10 years, and a move all in one year. Her health plummeted as her immune system fought her. Battling breast implant illness brought her unexplained weight gain, leaky gut, adrenal fatigue, food allergies, IBS, kidney stones, rashes and the worst part was having to stop teaching fitness classes. Two years of that nightmare began the journey of a drug-free, faith-filled, alternative way of healing after the explant in 2017. Changing her perspective on exercise and moving aside her ego has been another hard challenge through the last 9 years. She currently lives in North Carolina with her son. She has a positive, uplifting podcast called 3 Blondes 1 Battle, that is led by three ladies all managing MS. Her titles are health coach for a nutrition company, real estate broker, and the co-founder of Conservative Women of Forsyth County

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Mar 23, 2022

Para-Equestrian, Mary Jordan

Mary Jordan represented Team USA in the sport of Para-Dressage at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010. She was also a team alternate for the 2012 London Paralympics, the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, and was long-listed for the 2016 Rio and 2021 Tokyo Paralympics. Mary has competed throughout the United States, and also in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Norway, and England after her MS diagnosis. Her latest challenge during the Pandemic was a complete anterior hip replacement, which unfortunately had complications that caused nerve damage in her leg. Undeterred, Mary rallied and started from scratch, focusing on her health, nutrition, and fitness, and was able to qualify for and compete at the US Para National Championships in 2021, finishing 2nd and 3rd. Mary is a lifelong journalist and works full-time at The Anchorage by the Sea Resort in Ogunquit, Maine as the director of group sales and marketing. She volunteers with the nonprofit organization MS Stadiums for MS which has donated more than $100,000 to Johns Hopkins for MS research and assists families with MS. She is looking for her next paralympic partner for the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris.

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Jan 21, 2022

The Accidental Triathlete Jeana Clary

Jeana was diagnosed with MS 19 years ago. While not necessarily an "inactive" person before or after her diagnosis, it wasn’t until roughly 5 years ago that Jeana began her true fitness journey after receiving a road bike from a non-profit organization called Meat Fight. Something clicked after riding 150 miles over two days as part of her first BikeMS event; a spark had been ignited for what was first cycling, but soon led to pursuing other athletic goals including long-distance running and triathlons. She hopes that her endeavors will encourage others with MS to take on an epic challenge in whatever capacity! Jeana is from Dallas, Texas, where she lives with her husband and their two fur babies, rescue dogs Neko and Kermit. She works in education as a bilingual and ESL program manager, advocating for English language learners and families.

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Dec 21, 2021

The Polar Express, Gary Pinder

During the cold winter months, when most people move indoors to escape below-freezing temperatures, Gary Pinder heads outdoors into these frigid temperatures to seize his peak season of training. Gary has had MS for 26 years. He exercises regularly, including playing indoor soccer weekly. With his understanding of his heat sensitivity, Gary utilizes the cold winter tempters, to build up his strength, and endurance by running long distances. Gary has written for many MS publications about his journey and shares his strategies to remain empowered and active while living with MS. Gary was born in England and moved to the United States for college and then graduate school and met his wife along the way. Gary and his wife have two, now adult children, and currently live in Annapolis, Maryland.

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Dec 01, 2021

Nora Gocking- Not Today, M.S.

Nora Gocking is a writer, runner, and lover of coffee who lives in the great state of Kentucky with her husband and two children. Diagnosed with MS at the age of 35, Nora changed her diet, lost 180 pounds and became a runner. To date, she has completed 6 half marathons, 1 full marathon, and multiple 5Ks. In an effort to help others diagnosed with MS or facing challenges, Nora created Not Today, MS--a blog and podcast to share her story and encourage others to "choose joy, each and every day." Nora plans to spend the rest of her years on earth spreading joy and laughter and telling others about the amazing grace of Jesus Christ.

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Oct 12, 2021

Dr. Ken Kaufman & Heather Hackett- Optimize your health by following, (and/or eating more of) a plant-based diet!

Dr. Ken Kaufman is the Founder and Clinic Director of Sarasota Sports Medicine, a chiropractic & functional nutrition clinic. Dr. Kaufman has helped thousands of individuals, professional athletes, and celebrities recover from physical injuries and help them overcome chronic, degenerative health conditions through plant-based nutrition. Through his own personal experience and extensive knowledge in nutritional research, he now dedicates his expertise to guiding his patients and developing technologies to help individuals achieve optimal health. Heather Hackett has given 20 years to inspiring and promoting others to lead an active, healthy, and rewarding lifestyle. As a book publisher, author, trainer, and featured sports and nutrition writer, she has educated and empowered both children and adults to make life-changing choices. She has also evolved her knowledge and expertise in plant-based nutrition and the countless benefits it has on individuals while having a global impact. Together, Heather and her husband Dr. Kaufman co-founded Optamiz Health and are launching the Optamiz app. The Optamiz app supports people in following a plant-based diet and is part of their mission to accelerate the plant-based movement to inspire global change.

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Sep 14, 2021

Cheryl Hile- Seven Marathons on Seven Continents in 12 Months

Cheryl Hile has been running marathons since 2000. Cheryl's life changed in 2006 when a nagging injury turned out to be MS. Due to physical challenges, like foot drop, Cheryl struggled with keeping her exercise goals alive. She persisted despite her neurologist saying, “lower your expectations.” Cheryl got a brace called an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) to help her run without the fear of falling. To date, Cheryl has completed 56 marathons since diagnosis. She is the first person with MS to run seven marathons on seven continents… running them all in 12 months. Cheryl built a team called “Run A Myelin My Shoes” in 2018 and in just three years they have grown to over 300 teammates representing 19 countries. Their goal is to encourage people with MS to keep pushing forward to the best of their abilities.

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Aug 10, 2021

Gain the Benefits of Keeping Your Core Cool When Things Heat Up!

Brad Dunn and Kurtis Kracke from ThermApparel share their expertise on the benefits of cooling when living with MS! They also share evidence-based strategies on how to keep your cool when things heat up you can begin using immediately.

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Jul 06, 2021

Knockout MS & Obesity with Bobcat Moretti

Tim Realbuto wrote and stars in the title role in the upcoming film Bobcat Moretti. Tim lost more weight for this role than any other actor in cinema history! Rob Margolies is the co-writer, producer, and director of the film. "Bobcat Moretti" is a heart-wrenching drama about an obese man with Multiple Sclerosis who takes up his late father’s sport of boxing to overcome immense personal tragedy and find inner peace.

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Jan 18, 2021

Prove them Right | 020

Stephen Glaus, the host of the MSFC Podcast is joined by former guest of the show and the MSFC Director of Inspirational Wellness, Maureen Manley. Stephen discusses his MS journey from diagnosis on and how he recently overcame the odds to become one of the few to ever complete a full IRONMAN triathlon with MS.

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Jan 10, 2021

Focus Driven | 019

Founder of the MS Fitness Challenge joins MSFC Podcast host, Stephen Glaus to speak about the MSFC, how the organization fared during 2020, and what to expect for 2021. David also shares some insights concerning Optimal Body Personal Fitness, his own personal training company, and how he is using it to change the way the world approaches fitness for people with MS.

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Nov 14, 2020

Just Keep Rowing | 018

Johan Van Etten is a Netherland world record setting para-rower that has multiple sclerosis. This episode digs into how Johan has been able to overcome his MS diagnosis through fitness and how he fell in love with rowing.

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Aug 14, 2020

Taming the Walrus | 017

Veronique Gauthier-Simmons is a world leading yoga instructor for people who have MS. Something she had initially saw as boring and ineffective became the primary source of her healing efforts after she was diagnosed with MS. Now her mission is to show and prove the benefits of yoga for the millions of people around the world that live with this disease. A lucid dream would inspire her to start her own yoga business - Taming the Walrus - that now serves as the go-to MS yoga resource.

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Jul 14, 2020

MS (Miracle Story) | 016

Timothy Bell is an U.S. Army veteran who has over 4 years of military experience and time spent overseas in both Mosul and Iraq. His military career was cut short due to an unexpected MS diagnosis. He has overcome immense challenges in his life and has incredible story of survival to tell. He embodies the fighting spirit the MS Fitness Challenge mission and is a powerful, living example of what it means to conquer MS through fitness.

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Jun 13, 2020

Sunrise Chaser | 015

Angela Gensler is one of the most active members of the MS Fitness Challenge GYM Facebook group. She’s a New York native having lived most of her life on Long Island. She has been married to her husband for 23 years and is the mother of two daughters ages 21 and 19 years old. She considers herself a “sunrise chaser” and her enthusiasm and passion for life radiates everywhere she goes.

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Jun 04, 2020

MS Pushup Challenge | Bonus

This exclusive BONUS episode will dig into the MS Fitness Challenge (MSFC) 100,000 Push-Up Challenge! Founder of the MSFC, David Lyons & the Director of Fitness / host of the MSFC Podcast, Stephen Glaus - discuss how the challenge was born, how to get involved, and more!

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May 23, 2020

No Compromise | 014

David Block is the founder and CEO of Previnex, a supplement company that produces premium, clinically proven health and wellness products and programs that help people live longer, healthier, more active lives. After he and his wife had their first child, David felt compelled to utilize the resources within Previnex to start tackling the crisis of child malnutrition that quietly runs rampant around the globe. Thanks to the "Get Health. Give Health." program, Previnex ships a bottle of premium children's vitamins to areas of the globe where children find themselves in desperate need of vital nutrients. In addition to his passion for children, health, and wellness - David also has a heart for doing good and adding value to others. The MS Fitness Challenge (MSFC) is proud to be partnered with Previnex as our premier supplement sponsor. This episode will explore David's background, the Previnex story, and how he became acquainted and involved with the MSFC.

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May 09, 2020

The Gift Seeker | 013

"What's it like fighting losing battle?" That's a question Robin Brockelsby was confronted with soon after an MS diagnosis that threatened to take away all of the success and achievements she had worked for her entire life. Thanks to the support of several people in her life and her newfound hope in health and fitness, Robin has been able to overcome the odds and find the gifts hidden within an MS life.

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Apr 26, 2020

Dunk MS | 012

Former UCLA basketball player Blake Arnet has had to deal with the effects of MS in a way that only few can relate to. Before anyone in his family could gather the strength to prepare themselves for a life-altering event, Blake's mother, Brigitte, would pass away due to MS complications only 2 years after her diagnosis (2009). Determined to enshrine her memory in a way that serves others, Blake founded the one-of-a-kind basketball extravaganza charity event: Dunk MS. On his quest to help find a cure for MS and to provide MSers with resources and hope to get them through their trials, Blake continues to be an inspiration and a great example of what determination and love can do.

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Apr 18, 2020

Pushing Through | 011

Not even before she graduated high school, Claudia Longo was dealt a devastating blow to her collegiate soccer aspirations when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 17. Her determined fighting spirit gave her the drive to push through her MS setbacks and ultimately landed her back on the field where she dreamed of playing. Claudia is an inspiration to anyone fighting through adversity and is a beacon of hope for those living with multiple sclerosis.

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Apr 11, 2020

The Best is Yet to Come | 010

When it comes to battling MS, James Drake is an absolute beast! As an avid competitor at heart, James is always eager to put his abilities to the test. When he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, James realized that he had come to face-to-face with one of the biggest challenges of his life thus far. Thanks to his passionate faith in God and his resolute determination to fight MS through holistic health strategies, James has been able to accomplish incredible feats like competing on the Netflix hit series, 'Ultimate Beastmaster'.

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Apr 04, 2020

Easy Sleep | 009

Tracy Davenport is a healthcare professional that specializes in sleep science. As a caretaker for her mother who has been struggling with Alzheimer’s & dimensia for 8 years, Tracy quickly realized the power and benefits that sleep can have for people – especially those with significant health issues; people living with MS are no exception. A good night’s rest is a critical key to living with multiple sclerosis. In this episode, Tracy offers some insights that reveal how to achieve healthy sleeping habits.

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Mar 28, 2020

Soldier of Truth | 008

Matthew Embry is the director of the world-renowned documentary film, 'Living Proof'. After being diagnosed with MS at the early age of 19, Matthew heeded the advice and wisdom of his father's research to implement lifestyle changes that have kept his MS symptoms at bay for the past 25 years. In this episode, Matthew shares his motivation for directing the 'Living Proof' film as well as why fitness has become such an integral part of his everyday routine.

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Mar 21, 2020

Vitamin H | 007

Dr. Mark Vance is the Medical Director for the MS Fitness Challenge. He is a board certified Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and has over 15 years of experience in “conventional medicine” including clinic, emergency room, inpatient hospital and administrative work. In addition, he has received extensive training in alternative medicine as well as serving as the Medical Director of the West Clinic in Pocatello, ID. This unique training has equipped him with the skills to provide effective treatments for many conditions that typically have poor outcomes with standard MD medical treatment. His extensive work with alternative providers makes him the ideal liaison between the “regular” medical system and alternative medicine providers. And through opening his own clinic, Vance Medical, he is able to combine the best of both worlds, bringing the best of what’s available to his patients. In this episode, Dr. Vance shares how his experience and knowledge with alternatives therapies can have a significant impact on the overall wellbeing of people living with MS.

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Mar 14, 2020

Incredibly Fit | 006

Shanna Ferrigno is the MS Fitness Challenge Mindset Coach. As the daughter of the famed bodybuilder and Incredible Hulk actor, Lou Ferrigno, Shanna dealt with destructive lifestyle habits that were derived from guilt, shame, and loneliness. Over time she would learn how to manage and cope through those emotions and has established herself as a fitness instructor and mental coach purposed to help others become the best versions of themselves.

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Mar 07, 2020

Changing Up | 005

Maureen Manley is the Director of Inspirational Wellness for the MS Fitness Challenge. She’s also a former world-class cyclist that has achieved gold medals within global competitions. An unfortunate diagnosis of MS occurred right before she had a chance to compete in the Olympics. After learning about herself and her limits, she discovered a newfound passion to inspire others to become the best versions of themselves. She now charts a new course in life that is focused on promoting the hope found within embracing the opportunities found within life’s challenges.

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Feb 29, 2020

Support & Guidance | 004

Kendra Lyons - the co-founder of the MS Fitness Challenge and wife of David Lyons, shares the story of how she met David and how her past experience as a nurse working with MS patients made an impact on her life. Her compassionate heart and keen awareness of David's potential would eventually lead her to motivate David to start the MS Fitness Challenge. She offers a glimpse of the widespread effect MS can have on the close family members and friends of those who have been diagnosed with the disease and provides some useful advice on how supporting cast members can not only help their loved ones manage and cope with the disease, but also focus on their own physical, mental, and emotional health as well.

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Feb 22, 2020

Control the Controllables | 003

Monica Pelle - the Director of Nutrition for the MS Fitness Challenge, shares some useful insights as to how people with MS can utilize dietary and lifestyle strategies to help combat and subdue the inflammation associated with multiple sclerosis. Monica's wholistic approach to health, combined with a realistic application that allows room for slip-ups and set-backs, provides people with MS the tools they need to "crack" their own dietary codes and find long-lasting healthy lifestyle success.

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Feb 15, 2020

Focus on Fitness | 002

A follow-up interview with the co-founder of the MS Fitness Challenge - David Lyons. This episode continues the story of how David fought his way back from a bleak MS prognosis and how he utilized his vast wealth of fitness knowledge and experience to create the MS Fitness Challenge (MSFC). Information about the MSFC - what it is, who it's for, resources that are available, and how to get involved - are all covered during this interview.

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Resolve to live a lifestyle of fitness and health. Choose to fight your chronic condition with guidance from certified professionals and a motivating community.