In 2005 something happened to me that will leave me forever grateful and inspired by what's possible. I was out with a friend and we were both struck by how fortunate we were to have our health despite both of our mothers living with MS. It was that day I created an intention to do more...
An intention is a feeling, a wish, a dream and…a way of being. It’s something that you’re committed to making possible. It’s something you’re committed to for the sake of being committed, something that speaks to you. Something you dedicate mindful attention even when you have no idea how to make it real.
I determined that day I wanted to make a difference for people living with MS. I didn't know how or what I'd do, but it didn't matter...it would happen as long as I was mindful of it and was open to solutions.
Over a year later I reconnected with my friend and told him about my idea. I wanted to create an experience for people to live big lives, do things they thought they might never do, test themselves, celebrate their health, see the world and…make a difference for people living with MS. We called the idea MS Climb. It was just an idea with a name and a website (www.msclimb.ca) at that time. It was intimidating committing to something when I didn't really know what I was doing. But for some reason it didn't seem to matter…I was committed. I had a clear intention.
Over the course of that first year, we developed a program to take 20 MS fundraisers to Peru with the ambition to hike a four-day section of the Inca Trail. I didn't know 20 MS fundraisers nor how to get them to Peru or even where exactly the Inca Trail was or how to climb it. I kept focused on my intention - then slowly people began to show up. By October, we had 23 fundraisers registered and had raised over $150,000 for MS. We had created an amazing community of incredible people who also wanted to make a difference. That was five years ago. To date we have raised over $900,000 with the intention to raise $1,000,000 by October 2012.
The biggest hurdle I’ve had with MS Climb was telling people that first year (before we had a plan) about my intention. What I learned is that when you create an intention, choose to live into it to make it real. The biggest obstacle to achieving it is you!
Ralph Cochrane is the founder of MS Climb, a life coach, world traveller and an accomplished IronMan. Please visit www.msclimb.ca to learn more about how you can support those living with MS.