I just woke up and the only thing on my mind is the fact of the matter is Team IronFeet begins the trek across Kansas’s 254 miles via Roller Skates in 2 days.  When you break it down, the countdown is less than 48hours away and the honest train of PBR says “Oh my…You ready PBR?!”. Why do I ask this to myself?  Because every year pre-launch, I remember the years before. All the trials, tribulations, pain, emotions, and much more from previous years come rushing over me right before we launch.  I seem to remember the opposite of awesome things right off the bat: the blisters, the road conditions, the exhaustion, and other things from the not so awesome train.  As these emotions  flood over me as a sense of anxiety sets in…  but as my checklist gets shorter  on the preparation frontier that anxiety subsides a little and I am left with the thing I trust the most to get me thru the trek: Hope.
Hope is the state which promotes the belief in a good outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Sk8 the State has turned into my biggest life “event” and the trek in itself has turned into the biggest mental & physical challenge that I face year after year.  I turn to hope when I worry about the new unchartered territory I am about to embark on as each year which varies immensely from the years prior. I turn to hope as I fret about mother nature not being on our side this year for outdoor training pre-launch and I turn to hope when I ask myself “Are we ready?!”. I turn to hope for many other things as well because that hope is what will get us thru.
Whether Team IronFeet will admit regularly or not, Sk8 the State for MS is the hardest thing in life that any of us have faced but that’s not the point. The point is that within all the discomfort, pain, and wryness that there is HOPE! The hope that what we are doing is helping many in a positive nature, the hope that we are making a difference and  the hope that one day we will not have to Sk8 States as there will be a cure for MS.

Flash-forward to Monday, May 27th: I arise to an alarm clock which seems to have beaten the sun up… Slowly I get oriented with the day and prepare for what’s about to begin. Today is the day that begins the most amazing life experience I am so thankful to be a part of year after year.  As I brush my teeth and catch a look at myself in the mirror, you know what’s on my mind? The big huge smile on my face and warmness in my heart knowing that whatever may greet me along the trek (pain, discomfort, stress, exhaustion) is temporary and at that moment I will wash all anxiety down the drain because it doesn’t matter anymore. We have made it to the launch point and all my cares of the world are of the present. For the rest of the week I will do what I do best, skate, and when the times get tough on doing that I will reach to my rusty trusty hope which never lets me down.
-Living The Dream-

Libby "P.B.R." Claeys