The Olympics and Golf Helped Me Find Hope Despite MG

Michelle Gonzaba avatar

by Michelle Gonzaba |

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Strength in Weakness column by Michelle Gonzaba / grief

While I have never been the most athletic person in the world, I’ve always enjoyed playing various sports. I am a veteran of top leagues, including YMCA basketball and Little League softball. I dabbled in volleyball and had a long, two-day career in track. But as I’ve grown up and dealt with myasthenia gravis, my love for sports has been put on the back burner.

Although I don’t participate in as many sports as I used to, there is always a certain period of time when I’m more motivated than ever to start playing again. The Summer Olympics always make me feel both incredibly lazy and extremely motivated. Yet with my MG, I’ve always been hesitant to try anything too physical.

Although I’ve been in remission for over five years, I’m still nervous about sports. After recently watching the world’s top athletes compete, I was willing to see how much my body could handle.

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When I was in high school, I was a member of the golf team. I had some talent, but not enough drive to do anything with it. I quit the team after a year and a half and never looked back.

But whenever I would become stressed out, practicing golf easily helped to calm me down. I would sporadically visit the driving range, a place to practice golf, but I stopped when I started to show symptoms of MG. There was no way I could grip a golf club, much less have enough strength to swing it.

Although I’ve been in remission for several years, I hadn’t picked up my clubs until recently. When I decided to test out my physical limits, golf was the sport I thought would be the best entry point back into the athletic world. While tiring, it wouldn’t be an extreme workout. So, with a mix of fear, motivation, and hope, I took to the golf course for the first time in years.

Luckily, I wasn’t alone. I played alongside three of my cousins. Once I got into the groove of the game, my fears slipped away. I had no trouble gripping the club. I had the strength to carry my bag for the entire course. Although the heat tired me out, my arms and legs never felt weak. For the first time in a long time, I felt strong.

I know I’ll never be the next Simone Biles or Usain Bolt, but knowing I can do some type of athletic activity has given me hope for the future. I don’t know how my MG will fluctuate in the future, but I know that right now, I can do things I was too scared to try just a few years ago. And for now, that’s enough to keep my optimism high.

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Myasthenia Gravis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Comments

Amy avatar

Amy

This was well said. I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes I even go do something just to test if I’m weak.

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Jonathan D AUTORE avatar

Jonathan D AUTORE

Thanks for your continuing articles. As one who took 8 months to find my MG diagnosis .. only to finally be diagnosed by an intelligent floor nurse .. who recognized my symptoms (and none of my doctors), ... I am always wanting to know and learn from other MG patients.

I am also slowly getting back to my former activities ...such as driving at nite (and not seeing Christmas Star rays from every street lights) ... and back to Gardening ... after a year of remission. I knew what "pre Diagnosis MG" was ... and did not want to kneel down to plant something ... and worrying ... if I could get up and stand .... or would have to crawl to a chair ... or back into the house ... to get standing. SO YOU HAVE ACHIEVED MUCH by feeling safe enough to try golfing again. CONGRATULATIONS.

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