A walk on the Waterfront, Multiple Sclerosis, and World PT Day!
It’s not physical therapy, but a weekend walk along the Plymouth waterfront brings weekday focus to Redpoint. We’re lucky to live along the south shore and we have so many opportunities to take advantage of our proximity to the ocean (Saturday parties on Brown’s Bank anyone?). Those blessings were brought home to me when I saw “Oceans of Hope” pulling out of Brewer’s Marina on Sunday.
For those who aren’t familiar with the bright orange sailing vessel – “Oceans of Hope” it is a Challenge 67. She was built in 1996 for the BT Global Challenge to race around the world the "wrong way"; that is against the prevailing winds and currents. The boat spent some time as a research vessel before becoming the pride and joy of SailSclerosis: a global circumnavigation by those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis that is helping to raise awareness of the disease (and much needed funds). The boat was due in Boston today at 1:30 but, much like our ancestors in 1620, they set into Plymouth before they reached their destination.
My husband and brother are sailors. They’ve both raced and cruised all over the world and, though I’ve never done an ocean passage myself, I know from them how physically grueling it can be. The amazing thing about “Oceans of Hope is that it is crewed almost entirely by those suffering from MS. I’ve treated patients with the debilitating disease and PT can certainly help with balance problems, fatigue, fitness, pain, weakness and coordination issues but a daily stretching and strengthening routine is no match for the sense of accomplishment that must come from a trans-Atlantic crossing.
The crew set sail from Portugal on August 2nd and, after a few stops, hit Boston as we pushed “publish” on this post. They’ll be around for a couple of weeks for theACTRIMS-ECTRIMS conference, the world’s largest annual international conference devoted to basic and clinical research in multiple sclerosis.
In November they’ll hit New York before moving on to the Caribbean. From there, Oceans of Hope will take a trip through the Panama Canal, down into the treacherous “Southern Ocean” and around Cape Horn. They are looking for crew and are sponsoring sailing lessons in their ports of call. The project has a website at http://www.sailing-sclerosis.com/ where you can check the schedule or sign up to join the crew (there are categories for all levels of sailing experience and MS involvement). They are also on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sailsclerosis and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OceansofHope.
If you know someone with MS, let them know about the opportunity. In the meantime… and in the spirit of the SailSclerosis global voyage… today is World PT Day. Feel free to hug your local Physical Therapist. Sometimes a walk on the waterfront isn’t enough.