Oh dear. There was me thinking I had come up with the word ‘Funishment’ all on my own. I was wanting to describe my Tough Mudder/Wheelchair Rugby/Skydiving adrenaline fetish. And it turns out fetish is thoroughly appropriate. Funishment is apparently defined as ‘a pleasurable way of being punished, usually in a sexual way.’ Oh.
There was nothing sexual whatsoever about being manhandled like a sack of potatoes by a dozen guys and gals over, under and through 15 devious Tough Mudder obstacles. Especially on the multiple occasions I got a wedgie, or my ‘special pants’ were on display while being dragged over the line or a high wall.
Why exactly did I love it? Why do I keep on inflicting these things on my beautiful, long-suffering wife? “Just popping out darling. I’ll be back bruised and battered. And totally exhausted. Might develop a bladder infection. And despite that I won’t shut up about it all for a week. Just bring tea while I lie helpless in bed please. Love you!” [Note to self. Never, ever take Mrs W for granted.]
In some ways it’s easy to answer:
Awareness, too. MS is an incredibly complex disease. Totally misunderstood by many, poorly understood by a good few medical professionals, still not entirely understood by the experts. Bewildering and often frightening for those of us with MS. It is indiscriminate. MS can be mild, it can be severe, it can come and go, it can dole out a whole smorgasbord of symptoms. #NoTwoTheSame , says Shift.ms.
But really, when I boil it down, there are selfish, or at least ‘self-medicating’ reasons behind all this. When I flop out of a plane, when some beefcake careers into my trundling wheelchair on a sports court, when I am 12 foot up a wall and teetering, I feel alive. I feel human. I can briefly forget or ignore the fact that I am severely disabled and likely to worsen. I’m having a totally amazing time. The high lasts days or weeks afterwards.
Life is good. most people out there are good. I’m not a ‘scrounger’ or a ‘sufferer’. I am a bloke. I am redefining my ambitions as I go. And dreaming up new ones as I write.